The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycoma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper, has been discovered in Berks County, PA. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect attacks many hosts including grapes, apples, stone fruits, and tree of heaven and has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree, and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.
The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1” long and 1/2” wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wing tips are reticulated black blocks. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.
In the fall, adults congregate on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), willows (Salix sp.), and other trees, in groups of up to 20. Egg masses will be laid on medium to large trees, on trunk, branches, and limb bases. After hatching in the spring, nymphs will move off the tree and search out new hosts, including several kinds of agricultural crops. In Korea it has been reported to attack 65 different species, 25+ of which are known to grow in Pennsylvania.
Signs and Symptoms:
Trees, such as tree of heaven and willow, will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.
What to do:
If you see any of the signs and symptoms listed above contact one of our Certified Arborist to properly identify and recommend treatment immediately at 215-257-9425.
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