The Spotted Lanternfly Invasion

spotted lanternfly adult
The adult form of the Spotted Lanternfly with its wings expanded (dorsal view) from the PDA.

Southeastern Pennsylvania is currently dealing with the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), and New Jersey residents need to prepare for the incoming invasion. Three New Jersey counties are already under quarantine as a result. The quarantined counties in New Jersey are Hunterdon, Mercer, and Warren.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has a wealth of information on the Spotted Lanternfly invasion including what to look for and where to report sightings.

Lateral spotted lanternfly
The adult form of the Spotted Lanternfly with its wings closed (lateral view) from the PDA.

In short, the Spotted Lanternfly is from China and has been brought over to the United States by humans. Since the United States hosts many non-native plants from China, the Spotted Lanternfly has been able to successfully survive in the area. Specifically, the Spotted Lanternfly has a preference for a tree commonly called the Tree of Heaven. It is advised that this tree species be removed entirely or be treated to prevent the Spotted Lanterfly from spreading. Even if you do not have a Tree of Heaven on your property, you should still become familiar with the various life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly in case it should come to your area.

It is important for New Jersey residents traveling to and from the quarantine areas to check their vehicles and personal items for the Spotted Lanternfly and their eggs to reduce accidental transportation of the invasive species.

PA quarantine area in relation to NJ
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) quarantine area of Pennsylvania counties with confirmed presence of Spotted Lanternfly highlighted against New Jersey.

Invasive species in general pose many threats to their introduced habitat. As for the Spotted Lanternfly the current focus is on protecting valuable agriculture including cultivated grapes and plant nurseries. However, it is also important to fight this invasion because of the potential detrimental effects that the Spotted Lanternfly could have on local wildlife.

Please become aware of the Spotted Lanternfly invasion and report all sightings immediately.