Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest from Asia that primarily feeds on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also feed on a wide variety of plants such as grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, fruit trees and others. This insect could impact New York's forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries. New York's spotted lanternfly invasion is getting worse — with more sightings of the plant-destroying pests as their mating season revs up in the urban jungle, entomologists and residents said Wednesday. The invasive insects — which ravage everything from fruit trees to grapevines and vegetable gardens — have grown to adults and are swarming the city.
Nymphs are black with white spots and turn red before transitioning into adults. The black nymphs can be seen as early as April and until July. Red nymphs can be seen from July until September.
Adults begin to appear in July and are approximately 1 inch long and ½ inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are grayish with black spots. The lower portions of their hindwings are red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe.
In the fall, adults lay 1-inch-long egg masses on nearly anything from tree trunks and rocks to vehicles and firewood. They are smooth and brownish-gray with a shiny, waxy coating when first laid.
Signs of an Infestation
Sap oozing or weeping from tiny open wounds on tree trunks, which appears wet and may give off fermented odors.
One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old egg masses are brown and scaly.
Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold.
What Should You Do?
While spotted lanternflies are not directly harmful or dangerous to humans, you should be very concerned if you see them. Once they become established in an area, spotted lanternflies spread quickly and are difficult to control. In the summer and fall, these pests can be found in huge swarms around trees, poles, sidewalks, houses, and buildings. Getting rid of them requires the cooperation of everyone. If you find spotted lanternflies around your home or neighborhood, the official instructions are to kill them immediately in order to help stop them from spreading. Local residents should also report new sightings so that early action can be taken to prevent or slow down a potential infestation. In New York City, since the spread of spotted lanternflies has already been confirmed in all five boroughs, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) has announced that it is no longer necessary for residents to continue reporting sightings. But if you see a spotted lanternfly outside of New York City, you should report the sighting here.
How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies
If you’re dealing with large swarms of these insects, call a licensed pest professional to safely apply EPA-registered pesticides. Its best that we take care of these for you so that you don't have to! Call us today at (914) 831-7100 and dial 1 for service. We based our recommendations on the effectiveness, accessibility, and eco-friendliness of the approach.