The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a destructive, invasive pest that is threatening the agricultural, timber and ornamental industries in southeastern Pennsylvania.
What is it?
Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper, native to China. It feeds hungrily on many plants, including important crops like fruit trees, grapevines, hops, hardwoods, and ornamentals. The Spotted lanternfly was first found in the US in Berks County, PA, in 2014. It has since spread to 13 counties in southeastern PA, including Chester County. SLF has also been identified recently in New Jersey and Virginia.
The Spottled Lanternfly is not harmful to humans. They do not sting or bite, but they can be very destructive to many crops, trees and plants. They can also make a mess in your yard by excreting a sticky substance that causes the growth of black sooty mold. The mold is harmless to people but can kill trees and ornamental plants. Other types of insects can also cause this type of mold so it is important to properly identify the cause of the mold as prevention varies depending on the pest.
The "tree of heaven" is the favorite host of the Spotted lanternfly. Property owners who have these types of trees can choose to remove and/or treat these trees to help manage these pests. Read the Spotted Lanternfly Management for Homeowners Guide before deciding on a course of action.