By Terri Estes
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect from China. It was first found in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014. It has since spread to 14 other U.S. states including New York.
This sap sucking bug is detrimental to many of our fruit and woody trees, ornamental trees and bushes, vegetable crops and grape vines. A vineyard in Maryland, Fiore Winery, has reported that its 2022 production was cut in half because of the damage this insect has caused.
The piercing wounds caused by their mouths and their toxic excrement are very harmful to our local plants. Because they are invasive, they have no natural predators in this country. It is up to us to squash out this very bad bug. If left unchecked, the spotted lanternfly has the potential to cause billions of dollars in damage to our crops which will ultimately impact our wallets.
Spotted Lanternflies lay their eggs on the underside of tree branches but will also lay on manmade flat surfaces such as decks, brick structures and walls. Their egg mass is usually about 3/4 inch long and appears as light grey splotches of mud or cement-like substance. If you spot what you think is a spotted lantern fly egg mass, it is important that you take a picture and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you see an adult or juvenile spotted lantern fly, please kill it. Let’s face it, we have enough homegrown pests and problems of our own. This is one bad bug that we do not need around here.