Spotted Lanternfly Diagnostic Guide

Lycorma delicatula

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper native to China, Vietnam, and India. The spotted lanternfly was confirmed in Pennsylvania in September, 2014. The adult stage of this insect prefers the host Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, for feeding and egg-laying, but larval instars are known to feed on around 20 other species of tree in PA as well as agricultural crops. However, it can lay eggs on any smooth barked tree or other objects such as: stone, brick, lawn furniture, and cars.

Trees at Risk

Tree of Heaven appears to be the preferred tree for adults but has been reported to attack 20+ species of tree in PA such as grapes, apples, stone fruits, and some agricultural crops. In areas with high populations, they can also migrate and feed on willows, maples, poplars, tulip poplars, birch, and ash.


Currently, it has only been reported in Pennsylvania. Surrounding areas are under quarantine.





Signs of Damage

  • Trees will exhibit weeping wounds that leave a dark gray trail along the trunk.
  • Honeydew excreted will coat items underneath the tree
  • Sooty mold growing on honeydew secretions at base of tree
  • Egg masses seen covered in greyish brown mud-like casing on smooth vertical surfaces, or tree trunk
  • Insect gathers in large groups which can sometimes be spotted migrating up and down the host plant at dawn/dusk
Spotted Lanternfly Diagnostics


Spotted Lanternfly Diagnostics

photo: Edge Of The Woods Native Plant Nursery

Spotted Lanternfly

photo: PA Dept. of Agriculture -


  • Insect overwinters in egg masses laid on smooth vertical surfaces.
  • First instar emerges around mid-May.
  • Nymphs leave the initial site to find a suitable food source, feeding indiscriminately on woody/nonwoody plants.
  • Molt into a winged adult as early as mid-July.
  • Adults mate and lay eggs starting in late September through late November/ early December.
  • Systemic Bark Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 6 to 12 packets per gallon water
    Timing: After flower drop around mid-late May
    Re-Treatment: Annual
    Transtect 70WSP Insecticide
    Transtect Login for pricing

Other Management Practices

Scraping off egg masses from the trunk or other surfaces, double bagging and throwing away.

A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by

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