Growth Products, Ltd: Horticulture

Keep An Eye On The Spotted Lanternfly

October. The month of candied apples, trick or treaters, pumpkins and good ‘ol family fun. It is also the month that a destructive, invasive pest is in full swing causing destruction and chaos to trees and crops known as the Spotted Lanternfly.

Native to China, India and Vietnam, in all likelihood, the Spotted Lanternfly reared its destructive head by hitching a ride aboard an international shipment in route to the East Coast. They hatch beginning in mid-May, and progress through four stages on the way to adulthood. By late July, they post a major threat to New York crops, fruit trees and hardwoods.

The Spotted Lanternfly favors the Tree-of-Heaven, but has been documented to feed on over 70 species of trees and plants including grapes, hops and fruit trees

The damage is caused when they feed and suck sap from stems and leaves. This can reduce photosynthesis, weaken the plant and eventually contribute to the plant's death. So far infestations have been found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Although there have not been any infestations in New York to date, an adult was found on a vehicle in upstate New York. It is extremely important to keep our eyes peeled for these invasive pests.

What Can We Do?

See – Identification is our best method of response. If you feel you have found a Spotted Lanternfly, take a picture, notate the address, cross-streets, etc. Then email the information to

Stomp – As hoppers, these insects are relatively easy to catch up with and kill them with a firm stomp before they do further damage.

Spray – Although efficacy data is still in the works to combat the insect, some approved pesticides have been shown to be effective in killing them.

The apple and grape industries yield an annual combined value of $358.4 million in New York state alone. Identifying and informing the Department of Environmental Conservation can help save our landscape and our economy from millions of dollars in lost revenue and beautiful trees.