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The Spotted Lanternfly, a New Insect Pest Detected in Pennsylvania

Posted: November 10, 2014

The spotted lanternfly is native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam and has been detected for the first time in the United States in eastern Berks County, Pennsylvania.
An adult female (right) and male (left) spotted lanternfly

An adult female (right) and male (left) spotted lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) was unintentionally introduced into Korea in 2006 where it is a pest.

This approximately one inch long insect with piercing-sucking mouthparts has the potential to impact the green industry, grape growers, tree fruit growers, and the forest- and wood-products industries in Pennsylvania as well as the United States.

The host plants of the SLF in its native habitat include grapes, pines, stone fruits, and Malus spp. to name just a few. Early detection of the SLF is critical for effective control and protection of Pennsylvania's agriculture and related businesses.

To date, delimiting surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) indicate that the infested area may be approximately 30 square kilometers (11.6 square miles) in six townships and two municipalities in eastern Berks County.

Entomologists in the PDA, entomology extension specialists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology, Penn State extension educators, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources entomologists, and USDA scientists will be collaborating to obtain answers to the many unknowns regarding this insect pest that is new to the United States.

Quarantine

The PDA has issued a general order of quarantine for the following townships and municipalities in Berks County:

Townships

  • District
  • Earl
  • Hereford
  • Pike
  • Rockland
  • Washington

Municipalities

  • Bally
  • Bechtelsville

Contact

For additional information and questions regarding the quarantine, please contact:

Dana Rhodes
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Plant Inspection Program Specialist
Phone: 717-772-5205
Email at danrhodes@pa.gov

Additional Information

What to do

If you see eggs

Scrape them off the tree or smooth surface and place the eggs in a tightly sealed container with 70% alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.

If you collect a specimen

Send the adult/nymph specimen or egg mass to the PDA Entomology Lab for verification:

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Entomology Room-111
2301 N. Cameron St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110.

First, place the sample collected in 70% rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak-proof container.

Complete the PDA Entomology Program Sample Submission Form.

Report a sighting

Call the toll-free Bad Bug hotline at 1-866-253-7189 with details of the sighting and your contact information or email badbug@pa.gov.

Commodity specific questions

Contact the following Penn State Extension Entomology Specialists.

Grapes

Michael Saunders
Email: mcs5@psu.edu
Phone: 814-863-2979

Ornamentals and Forests

Gregory Hoover
Email: gah10@psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-3256

Tree fruit

Greg Krawczyk
Email: gxk13@psu.edu
Phone: 717-677-6116, ext. 5

Photographs

SLF EM w GM EM on willow trunk
A gypsy moth egg mass (right) next to an egg mass of the spotted lanternfly (left) on a willow, Salix sp. trunk

A female spotted lanternfly laying an egg mass.
A female spotted lanternfly laying an egg mass.

SLF adult lateral View
Lateral view of an adult female spotted lanternfly

Contact