Plant Industry - Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Report suspected Spotted Lanternfly 

Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper that was first detected in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. Since then, the pest has been detected in over 14 states. Reproducing infestations of this pest have been found throughout Pennsylvania as well as portions of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The first live population of spotted lanternfly was found in Forsyth County, North Carolina near the border with Guilford County in June 2022. This is currently the only known population of this pest in the state.

Spotted Lanternfly Distribution Map Eastern USA

PLEASE NOTE: Counties with a purple dot are considered one-off incidents and in most cases represent a single dead adult associated with material shipped from one of the blue infested areas. The areas in blue are where reproducing populations of spotted lanternfly are known to occur. (Image courtesy of New York Integrated Pest Management, Cornell University)

Spotted lanternfly is a piercing-sucking insect that produces large amounts of honeydew while feeding. This buildup of honeydew attracts stinging insects like wasps and ants and can cause black sooty mold to grow on infested plants as well as homes and businesses, reducing property values. They are a known pest of over 70 species of plants including grapes, stone fruits, apples, maple, oak, walnut, willow, and tree-of-heaven. SLF overwinters in the egg stage, hatching into nymphs during late-Spring to early-Summer. There are four nymphal (instar) stages prior to becoming adults in late Summer. The 4th nymphal stage (late instar) and adults show a strong preference for tree-of-heaven as their host.

Egg Mass Early Instars Late Instar Adult
SLF egg mass
Early SLF Instars
Late SLF Instar
SLF Adult
September to May Late March to June Late May to July July to December
Each egg mass is ~1-inch in size and contains roughly 35 eggs The 1st instar is small (roughly the size of a tick) and grows to ~1/4-in size (3rd instars) Bright red and ~1/2-in in size From head to wing tip ~1-in in size


If you think you have seen Spotted Lanternfly, please take a photo (and try to include a size reference such as a quarter or pen) and upload it with our reporting tool.    
When submitting a report please include the location of the sighting, the date, and your contact information. If the insect got away, please take a picture of the location where you saw it.

There are a number of native insects that are commonly mistaken for spotted lanternfly. Please check out the look-alike documents below to see some of these common look-alikes:


Activities for the Kids   
Spotted Lanternfly Origami (Select 'fit to printable area' when printing)   
SLF Search & Find and Fun Facts Sheet

Useful Links    
NC Cooperative Extension Spotted Lanternfly Resources Page    
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture    
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection    
Delaware Department of Agriculture   
Maryland Department of Agriculture    
New Jersey Department of Agriculture   
New York Department of Agriculture    
New York State IPM Center   
Ohio Department of Agriculture    
Virginia Department of Agriculture   
West Virginia Department of Agriculture    
Indiana Department of Natural Resources   
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development   
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management   
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources