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NC State Extension

Spotted Lanternfly Resources

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Email pictures of suspected spotted lanterfly sightings in NC to badbug@ncagr.govImage source: NCDA & CS

If You Think You Have Found Spotted Lanternfly in NC:

  • Please take a photo and upload it to notify experts at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • When submitting a photo please include the location of the sighting, the date, and your contact information.
  • Clear, close-up, focused images are the easiest to ID! If possible, add a coin, paper clip, or other small objects to the photo to indicate the size of the insect.

First found in eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect pest that is now established in New York, Delaware, and Virginia and it has recently been found in North Carolina. Early detection is critical in stopping its spread and minimizing the devastating effect it could have on NC landscapes and agricultural crops, particularly grapevines, fruit trees, and a wide range of hardwood trees. The messy honeydew they secrete also causes problems by attracting ants, wasps, and black sooty mold to neighborhoods and businesses, affecting property values, tourism, and human health.

Image source: NCDA & CS

Learn More About Spotted Lanternfly:

Additional Steps You Can Take Include:

  • Become familiar with tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), the preferred host plant for spotted lanternfly. Note the location of trees in your area and check them regularly in the summer for immature insects (May-September), adults (July-December), and egg masses (October-June).
  • If traveling through quarantine areas, check your vehicle for egg masses/juvenile or adult insects. As an extra measure, take vehicles through the car wash before returning to NC.
  • If you own a vineyard or orchard, NCDA&CS recommends you remove tree of heaven on your property as a preventative measure against this pest.
  • Get the word out. Talk to people and businesses in your community. Make them aware of this potential pest and what to look for. Informational posters are available from Allison Ballantyne, allison.ballantyne@ncagr.gov.

Spotted lanterfly adult insect and fourth instar nymphs.
Spotted lanternfly adult (left) and 4th instar nymphs (right, red body). Photo by Stephen Ausmus, USDA-ARS

Images of Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven

For use in social media, newsletters, etc., are available from Bugwood:

Learn to Identify Tree of Heaven:

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is an invasive plant found throughout NC and much of the US. It is the preferred host plant of spotted lanternfly.