Early Detection of the Spotted Lanternfly Is Critical

— Written By
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. The pest is native to northern China and was introduced to Korea in 2004 where it has become a major pest.