At our 2018 winter grower meetings, there was discussion of a new invasive species, spotted lanternfly (SLF). The fulgorid hopper was introduced into Pennsylvania in 2014, and has been expanding its range since. In 2017, SLF became a multi-state problem, since it was found in single counties in each of three additional states: Delaware, New York and Virginia (viable egg masses and dead adults were found in January 2018 at a Winchester site, including trees along a railway). One tree in particular, tree of heaven, is linked to the life cycle of SLF, but it will feed on about 70 other host plants. These plants include several that are of great economic importance to us, and SLF is a likely important pest in vineyards, orchards and forestry. In Pennsylvania, it has been a major nuisance in commercial fruit operations, and domestic settings, with their massive feeding aggregations and accumulating sticky honeydew deposits.
SLF overwinters in the egg stage. The appearance is variable; eggs are sometimes covered with a gray waxy covering, sometimes this covering is only partial, and sometimes the eggs are completely naked.
We have posted further information on SLF, linked here:
Virginia Cooperative Extension web page:
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Virginia Tech):
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Spanish; USDA):
VERY IMPORTANT: A web site to report suspected finds of SLF, including uploading of digital photos (public reports will be very helpful in helping us understand the distribution of SLF as its range expands!).:
I’ll be posting developments on this pest here as they develop.