The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is native to Southern Asia, and a problematic invasive pest. It was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. The adult insect feeds primarily on a non-native tree, the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), although nymphs are known to attack a wide range of native hardwood and fruit trees. Grape vines are a preferred host plant of the SLF nymphs, which can attack in large numbers. Currently, intense research that hopefully will lead to sustainable management strategies are underway in PA (and elsewhere), with a focus on public awareness, detection surveys, and eradication. If this species becomes established in North America, it could be a formidable threat to industry and the economy, especially for the fruit orchard, grape products, and hardwood tree industries.

Life Cycle: It is important to know a pest’s life cycle so plans can be made to control it at the right time with the methods that are safest for humans, pets, and the environment. The Spotted Lanternfly completes its life cycle in one year.


cheltenham chamber of citizens

by Judith Gratz,

Environmental Education Specialist

Websites with More Information




 You should report finding SLF to the Montgomery County branch of Penn State Cooperative Center: 610-489-4315, or to PA Dept. of Agriculture.

DO NOT put sticky tape around your trees. Birds and “bugs” that are not harmful or are helpful, and other living creatures, are being caught.

SFL with Wings Closed

There are few viable homeowners’ solutions that are recommended at this time. The information about what to do is changing rapidly, and often contradicting previous suggestions. Most insecticides have not been tested against SLF specifically, and could harm the “beneficials” in our area. 

When disturbed a SLF will rapidly hop away from the surface on which it is sitting, take a curving path, and land on the ground nearby or on a tree, with wings spread. It is easy to see the red for a short time before they close their forewings.

Two birds (Red-bellied Woodpeckers) caught on sticky tape intended for SLF. They were removed slowly and gently with vegetable oil. Then the stickiness had to be removed from their wings. Covering their eyes helps birds calm down.

Another action you can take is to identify Ailanthus trees on your property (Tree-of-Heaven: Ailanthus altissima). This is the tree preferred by the SLF. Get rid of all but the tree most attacked by the SLF. Then you can kill the SLF on that tree.

In Case You Missed Them - Earlier Environmental Info. You Can Use Pages


Feeding takes place from May until November. SLF get food with a sucking mouthpart that damages the host plants by taking sap from stems, leaves, and the trunks of trees. In late summer, adults will mate, lay eggs, and die. Insects overwinter as eggs within an egg case. Freshly laid egg masses appear as if coated with a white substance. As they age, the egg masses look as if they are coated with gray mud, which eventually takes on a dry/cracked appearance. Very old egg masses may look like rows of 30-50 brown seed-like structures aligned vertically in columns.

SLF Egg Mass on Tree

Spotted Lanternfly – An Invasive Insect & Formidable Threat

It’s not a fly, it’s not a butterfly, and it’s not a moth. It’s a Planthopper, a True Bug, related to aphids, cicadas, and others.
Scientific name: Lycorma delicatula; Order: Hemiptera





Right Now: If you are having tree work done, have the people who go up into the trees

     1.     tell you if they see adult SLF's and / or capture one (they can, and should, kill as many as they wish)

      2.     look for SLF egg masses:
IF THEY SEE THEM, SCRAPE THEM! Scrape off egg masses into a plastic bag, seal and throw it away. (Some may be low, but many will be high up on the trees).