The Newest Invasive Pest: The Spotted Lanternfly

Author: Mosquito Squad

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest that loves to feast on over 70 different plant species. The pest has garnered much attention this summer as it wreaks havoc along the east coast, particularly in Pennsylvania. Their presence has been so strong in Pennsylvania that the state has imposed a quarantine in 34 counties.

Spotted lanternfly causes great concern within the agricultural and horticultural industries because many of the plants the pests prefer to feed on play a crucial role within local economies. Maple trees, black walnut trees, willow trees, and grapevines all appeal to the SLF's appetite.

The spotted lanternfly was first identified within the United States in 2014, but it is native to Southeast Asia. They feed on the sap of plants and can cause significant damage to the plants, especially when feeding in high numbers. Within the SLF’s native land, there are many natural predators that keep it under control. Within the U.S. the pest is living without any opposition, making their ability to procreate and congregate in large numbers a problem for plants and residents.

After hatching, the spotted lanternfly goes through five unique stages of life. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has documented each stage, as the pest takes a few different forms and could be mistaken for three different types of bugs.

While its red coloring can make it look ominous, the SLF does not bite or sting. Also, they are not known to be harmful to people or pets.

Spotted lanternflies are not picky when it comes to laying their eggs. They will lay eggs on trees, outdoor equipment, or car rails. This makes them easily spread by people and enables their ability to spread across a territory so rapidly.

Our sister brand, Monster Tree Service has more details on the spotted lanternfly, including what to do if your property is being impacted by the invasive pest. Spotted lanternflies and mosquitoes can co-exist on your property. Call our friends at Monster Tree Service to help with spotted lanternflies and call The Squad to help with mosquitoes!