The Spotted Lanternfly originates from China, India, and Vietnam. The insect was first discovered in the U.S. in Berks County, PA in 2014. Since then, it has spread to several neighboring counties and states, including Bucks County. The Pennsylvania counties are in a “Quarantine Zone” requiring businesses to obtain permits and monitor anything being exported from or within these counties. This relatively new insect is considered an invasive species, meaning it spreads very quickly and has negative impacts to the ecosystem and economy.
Spotted lanternfly does not directly pose harm to humans, as they do not bite or sting, but they can cause significant damages to the agriculture industry. These insects like to feed on the following crops: grapes, apples, hops, walnuts, and other hardwoods. They feed by sucking out sap from plants and excrete a ‘honeydew’ (sugary water) which attracts wasps and encourages Black Sooty Mold to grow in those areas coated with honeydew. If near an infestation of spotted lanternfly, plant leaves, buildings, vehicles, etc. all can become coated with honeydew and develop a coating of black sooty mold.
What can you do to help?
The Spotted Lanternfly has only one life cycle per year. They hatch from eggs starting in April/May and develop through multiple nypmh stages until they reach adulthood around August. The new adults lay their eggs starting in September and continue laying eggs until the adults die in December. Each female can lay 30-50 eggs per egg mass, which she covers with a putty-like material. Spotted lanternfly are not very selective when choosing a spot to lay their eggs (could be trees, vines, house siding, on a vehicle), which can make locating egg masses tricky.
Reduce the population of spotted lanternfly by checking for and scraping egg masses from December through April each year (before the egg masses hatch!). Please report what you scrape to PA Department of Agriculture. For more information on other SLF control options, visit our “Educational Resources“, “Cirlce traps“, and “SLF Control Program” page on this site.
BCCD has also developed fact sheets specifically targeted for Agricultural Producers and Contractors. For additional information on Spotted Lanternfly, we encourage you to visit these recomended sites: