It’s big, it’s bad, and it could well be headed your way, if it’s not there already. First identified in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014, spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is now infesting much of Eastern Pennsylvania. Populations have also been found in Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia, and adults and egg masses have been spotted in New York.
Native to parts of Asia, the spotted lanternfly is actually a planthopper, not a fly, with needlelike mouthparts that pierce plant stems and draw out sap. When the nymphs and adults feed in large numbers, as they tend to do, they seriously weaken plants. Grapes, hops, and tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) are among the favored hosts, but this pest can feed on a wide range of woody and herbaceous plants and poses a significant threat to various aspects of the agriculture and forestry industries.
Spotted lanternflies pose…
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