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Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly is a major pest of concern across most of the United States. This insect is native to China and parts of India, Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan. It was first identified as an invasive species in 2004 in South Korea and is now a major pest there. Spotted lanternfly was first detected in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014.

In July 2021, a population of spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was identified in Indiana in Switzerland County, near the Ohio River. Since then, populations have been found in Huntington, Elkhart, St. Joseph, and Porter counties. DEPP and USDA continue to conduct surveys to ascertain the extent and source of these infestations as well as determine what management strategies will be implemented.

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Why is spotted lanternfly a problem?

Adults and nymphs have piercing-sucking mouthparts and feed on the vascular tissue of leaves, petioles, young shoots, branches and trunks of its hosts. Adults and older nymphs may feed in large populations. This extensive feeding results in oozing wounds on woody tissue and wilting and death of branches.

The spotted lanternfly can be spread long distances by people who move infested material. If allowed to spread, this pest could have serious impact on the grape, hops, orchard and logging industries in the United States.


Where to monitor

The spotted lanternfly has a recorded host list of over 100 species, primarily woody species. Their preferred host is tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) which is a common invasive species in Indiana.

Inspection of areas and objects near tree of heaven should be a priority since this is a preferred host tree. Smooth surfaces are preferred for egg laying and eggs may be in sheltered locations or in crevices on trees or outdoor objects. Nymphs and adults tend to cluster at the base of trees or lower trunk during the day and are more active at dusk or early evening. Infested trees can show significant deposits of honeydew and sooty mold around the base of the tree to the point where the base and surrounding ground may appear black. Tree sap oozing from wounds on trees and the honeydew may attract ants, bees and wasps.

Inspection of articles such as logs, firewood, other tree parts, decorative grapevines, any outdoor household articles and vehicles coming from infested areas will assist in reducing the spread of this invasive pest long distances.

Partial Spotted Lanternfly Host List
Tree of heaven Ailanthus altissima
Grapevine Vitis sp.
Hop Humulus sp.
Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Amur cork tree Phellodendron amurense
Chinese mahogany Toona sinensis
Korean evodia or bee tree Tetradium daniellii
Willow Salix sp.
Red maple Acer rubrum
Sugar maple Acer saccharum
Silver maple Acer saccharinum
Shagbark hickory Carya ovata
Birch Betula sp.
Chinaberry Melia azedarach
Snowbell Styrax japonicus
Oak Quercus sp.
Pine Pinus sp.
Lilac Syringa sp.
Tulip poplar Liriodendron tulipifera
American beech Fagus grandifolia
American sycamore Platanus occidentalis
Walnut Juglans sp.
Rose Rosa sp.
Japanese angelica tree Aralia elata
Apple Malus sp.
Cherry Prunus sp.
Plum Prunus sp.
Peach Prunus sp.
Nectarine Prunus sp.
Apricot Prunus sp.
Almond Prunus sp.

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