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NC State Extension

Spotted Lanternfly Resource Page

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

First found in eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect pest that has now spread to New York, Delaware, and Virginia. While it has not yet been found in North Carolina, it is believed to be heading our way and early detection will be critical in stopping its spread and minimizing the devastating effect it could have on landscapes, communities, businesses and agricultural crops, particularly grapevines, fruit trees, and a wide range of hardwood trees.

Learn more about spotted lanternfly from these resources and join the lookout for its arrival in NC.

Learn More About Spotted Lanternfly:

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.

Images of Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven

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

If You Think You Have Seen Spotted Lanternfly in NC:

  • Please take a photo and send it to: badbug@ncagr.gov
  • 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.

Additional Steps You Can Take Now 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.