Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect first detected in our area in Frederick County, Virginia, on January 10, 2018. Since that time our Extension Agent, Mark Sutphin, along with our Extension Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension, have monitored for the insect, helped with I.D., and been an integral part of the effort to stop the spread of this destructive pest.
We’ll update this page periodically with things you should know.
See bottom of page for more resources about Spotted Lanternfly, or SLF.
6/15/20 – 4th instar mature nymphs will start to be seen now. At this stage, the nymphs have a red and black body, black legs, and white spots on the body and legs.
5/21/20 – Watch this archived webinar featuring Extension Agent Mark Sutphin for a Spotted Lanternfly Update.
5/1/20 – Cool temperatures in April slowed things a bit, but SLF nymphs are now hatching. If you see them, report it to Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert.
9/25/19 – VCE reports SLF on Silver Maple and Red Maple trees. At this time of year, check for adults or egg masses. If you find SLF, destroy it.
9/9/19 – SLF are starting to lay egg masses. They appear whitish when fresh and soon turn gray. You might mistake them for a spot of mud.
SLF egg masses may be found on the trees it seems to prefer, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), as well as any other plant material in the area. In addition, you may find it on outdoor items, as pictured, or on landscape or building materials.
If you stop your vehicle in a known area, you should check carefully for both the insect and egg masses before exiting the area. Basically anything that enters a known infestation area may leave it with insects, eggs, or both.
If you find egg masses, scrape and destroy. If you find adults, kill them.
9/4/19 – SLF were observed “in courtship.”
Egg laying will soon follow, and the egg masses may easily be mistaken for other.
Pictured at right are two egg masses, end to end. This may be 100 eggs! (Each egg mass can have approximately 30-50 eggs).
If you want to learn better how to identify egg masses, click the photo or visit Possible Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass Look-alikes in Virginia to see a graphic of egg masses and lookalikes so you’ll be prepared.
If you find egg masses, scrape and destroy them. An old credit card or screwdriver works to remove them.
Then squash them!
7/16/19 – This time of year you may see adult SLF, as well as 3rd instar (black and white) and 4th instar (red black and white) nymphs, pictured. All should be reported and killed.
If you are uncertain on the ID of SLF, see VCE’s Possible Spotted Lanternfly Adult Look-alikes in Virginia graphic. You can also contact us for a quick response. If confirmed, you should report it to Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert program.
In addition, keep an eye out for other signs of SLF on trees, such as sooty mold (black fungal growth) and honeydew (wet leaves). In excessive amounts, the combination of fermenting honeydew and sooty mold lead to a noticeable odor.
6/15/19 – Congratulations to two of our members, Extension Agent Mark Sutphin and Extension Master Gardener Suzanne Boag, who are part of the team winning the VCE 2018 Program Excellence Award Northern District for the “2018 Citizen Science Spotted Lanternfly Detection Project.”
Do your own part as a citizen scientist and report Spotted Lanternfly if you find it! For more information and to report the Spotted Lanterfly in Virginia, go to http://ext.vt.edu/spotted-lanternfly.
5/28/19 – “The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the establishment of the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester, effective immediately. The purpose of the quarantine is to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly to uninfested areas of the Commonwealth.” Read more…
4/19/19 – Now is a good time to look for Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses. (See photo elsewhere on this page). Scrape and squash any found. Per VCE Northern Shenandoah Valley Agriculture and Natural Resources, “In the fall of the year (September to November) adult females lay eggs on tree trunks, tree branches, stone, concrete, fence posts, metal objects such as barrels, vehicles, pallets, and much more…potentially anything sitting outside during the egg laying period.”
10/21/18 – Eric Day, Manager of the Virginia Tech Insect ID Lab, met with Extension Master Gardeners to bring them up to speed on the Spotted Lanternfly Banding Project they have participated in and how to get involved in monitoring this pest for next year.
5/9/18 – The first observed egg hatch of Spotted Lanternfly occurred in Winchester (same area as confirmed in January). Nymphs are small and black with white dots. (See photo above on this page). Squash any you see.
Find more information and recent publications on SLF at VCE’s Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia page.
If you suspect you have seen SLF but cannot confirm the identification, take a photo if possible and put the insect into a closed container if you can safely reach it. You can report it at through Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert program. You can also contact us for a quick response.
If you know you have seen SLF, kill it, and report it through Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert program.
- Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications and Website pages:
- Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia overview website page.
- Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula.
- Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia Vineyards publication.
- Residential Control for Spotted Lanternfly SLF in Virginia publication.
- Possible Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass Look-alikes in Virginia graphic.
- Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle in Virginia graphic.
- Possible Spotted Lanternfly Adult Look-alikes in Virginia graphic.
- Cooperative Extension’s Report Spotted Lanternfly.
- Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences‘ Spotted Lanternfly section includes many useful links, including:
- City of Winchester’s Stop the Spotted Lanternfly page.
- Virginia Department of Forestry’s Control and Utilization of Tree-of-Heaven
- Virginia Tech’s Ailanthus and Lookalikes Tree Identification.