The invasive and destructive spotted lanternfly has been found in Freeland, Hazleton, Humboldt, and many other areas in Luzerne and Carbon County and the bugs make their way North.
The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive planthopper, native to Asia, that was first detected in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania. It feeds voraciously on many plants.
There is only one generation of SLF per year. Eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Egg masses look like gray mud and can be found on hard surfaces like trees, decks, houses, etc. Each egg mass contains 30-50 eggs. Egg masses should be destroyed immediately.
SLF goes through four nymph stages. Nymphs are small and can be hard to find. The first three stages (instars) are all black with white spots, and the last instar is red with white dots and black stripes.
SLF adults emerge in July and are active until winter. Adults have black bodies with brightly colored wings. Only the adults can fly. Because SLF adults jump more than fly, their wings often remain closed. SLF wings are gray with black spots, and the tips of the wings are black with gray veins.
SLF taps into plants with a piercing-sucking mouthpart, excreting sugary water. This sugary surface on plants and the ground encourages the growth of black sooty mold. While the mold is not harmful to humans, it can cause damage to the plants.
The spotted lanternfly is highly invasive and destructive. Infestations in Southeastern Pa have been so bad that mist could be felt falling from trees from the SLF.
After identifying and killing the SLF, sightings should be reported immediately to Penn State at 1-888-422-3359.
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