Let’s Stop the Invasion!


Photos and selected text provided by Va. Tech Cooperative Extension
Immature, wingless stage of the spotted lanternfly
Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a new invasive insect pest that has the potential to impact agriculture, forests, and home landscapes. (The only good thing about them is that they like eating another invasive: Ailanthus altissima – tree of heaven.)
 Photos and selected text provided by Va. Tech Cooperative Extension
Clockwise from top left: Adult showing hind wings; adult with folded wings; early black and white nymphs; full-grown nymphs showing red; and egg masses.
Below is a map showing current spotted lanternfly distribution in the US. In the last year, Pennsylvania saw the pest population added to 12 new counties, including a jump to the Pittsburg area. Also in the last year, the Virginia population expanded into Clarke County, Virginia, and Berkeley County, West Virginia.
Photos and selected text provided by Va. Tech Cooperative Extension
Current lanternfly distribution (reported) in the U.S.

Detection by citizen scientists has been very successful in Pennsylvania and a similar program in Virginia provided valuable information and records in 2018 and 2019.  Early detection of Spotted Lanternfly, should it relocate elsewhere in Virginia, is crucial. The Extension Service has reached out to the Master Naturalist Program (as well as Master Gardeners, SNP staff, and Va. Dept. of Forestry staff) to monitor the invasion and to help raise awareness of this pest.

Nineteen VMN chapters assisted in the program last year, and especially because the invasion is only 2 counties north of us, Headwaters’ involvement is very important. If you’re interested in helping with spotting and banding the SLF, please contact Chris Bowlen at 540-289-6801 or bowlenchris@comcast.net.

by Dave Forrer