Spotted Lanternfly Has Officially Arrived in New York State
By monitoring their fields, farmers can help manage the spread of the invasive bug.
The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM), along with the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, has been monitoring for spotted lanternfly since its first occurrence in PA in 2014. In preparation, we developed educational resources for New Yorkers. Partnering with affected states, we’ve maintained a map tracking its spread and quarantines across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.
As of Aug. 14, NYSIPM has confirmed a living population of spotted lanternfly on Staten Island. Because pests don’t care about borders, experts anticipated this introduction into the state and put in place the groundwork needed to keep ahead of this invasive species.
Knowledge and experience from PA’s spotted lanternfly specialists continues to benefit Cornell Extension and research staff. Pennsylvania agriculture experienced grapevine deaths in some vineyards, and their economists estimate a potential combined annual loss to their state of $324 million and 1,665 jobs. Because of SLF’s ability to be a significant agricultural pest, research is underway even now, as Cornell researches biological and other control options.
The spotted lanternfly is not a fly, but a large planthopper. Adults are about an inch long. They do not bite or sting, and are not a threat to people, pets, or livestock. For most New Yorkers, it will be no more than a nuisance pest. Nymphal and adult spotted lanternflies have piercing-sucking mouthparts that drill into plant phloem. SLF’s excrement – a sappy liquid called honeydew – makes things sticky and becomes the breeding ground for sooty mold, an annoying black fungal growth that is not toxic and does not kill plants. If necessary, wash honeydew and sooty mold off of your outdoor belongings, and move them out from under trees that have hosted the SLF. Note: honeydew can also draw ants and yellow jacket wasps.
Spotted lanternfly’s favorite host is another invasive species, the Tree of Heaven, but they also feed on many other trees and plants. Unfortunately, this includes cultivated grapevine. With New York State’s important wine production and grape growing regions from Long Island to Western New York, we are particularly concerned about this pest’s impact.
To properly identify spotted lanternfly and understand its lifecycle, host plants, and how to monitor and manage it, visit our resources at https://tinyurl.com/yxzlomro.
“What should I do?”
- If you think you see a spotted lanternfly, use the new reporting form found at https://tinyurl.com/yy78jvnn.
- Educate yourself. It is likely that spotted lanternfly will continue to spread north through New York and New England. Check out the lanternfly lifecycle so you’ll know what to look for. From autumn through spring, look for egg masses. In late spring and early summer look for the nymph stages; in late summer through autumn, look for adults. Don’t transport this pest. Individual and commercial travelers alike should be aware that there’s the potential to spread this insect to new areas without knowing it. Adult spotted lanternfly can end up in vehicles. Egg masses can be laid on virtually anything, and can be overlooked. Inspect anything that you load into your vehicle. The checklist is at nysipm.cornell.edu/sites/nysipm.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/SLF-checklist.pdf.
- Keep up with the latest news on the spread of spotted lanternfly and other pest management concerns by following this and other NYSIPM program blogs, the NYSIPM Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.
For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit agriculture.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly.