CAN: Have you spotted this rapidly spreading pest of the Spotted Lanternfly?

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was recently found in the US and is now spreading rapidly across several states. Therefore, the Spotted Lanternfly is a pest they are actively looking for in Ontario. If you think you have found this pest in Canada, please report it to CFIA here.

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The Spotted Lanternfly is a new invasive species to the United States discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and unfortunately, has successfully overwintered and spread since then to many other states including New York, Ohio and Maine. Vehicles and synthetic landscape stones seem to be a significant means of long distance dispersal. Trucking routes are high risk pathways for spotted Lanternfly spread. Nursery stock from infested states is also at risk of spreading this invasive insect pest.

The Spotted Lanternfly is originally from China and south Asian countries such as India. It was accidentally introduced into South Korea in 2006 and has spread dramatically to become a major agricultural pest, especially for grape production.

Look for them on new shoots on grapes, fruiting trees and shrubs (apple, cherry/peach/apricot), roses, tree of heaven and even on pine trees. Adult lanternflies have grayish forewings with black spots; the hind wings are red with black spots on the lower portion and grey and black with a bold white stripe on the upper portion.

Spotted Lanternfly feed directly into the phloem tissue of foliage and young stems with its specialized sucking mouth parts. The sugary fluid continues to leak out of the feeding site and coats leaves and stems, which can encourage the growth of yellow-white mould. The insects often feed in groups and produce deposits of honeydew, which attract other insects such as wasps, bees and ants. There can be a buildup of honeydew and mould at the base of the tree.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recommends finding and scraping off egg masses from October through May. Double bag them and throw them in the garbage or scrape the eggs directly into a ziploc bag of alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. PDA goes on to say that Adults and 2nd-4th instar nymphs appear to be attracted to spearmint oil which could be used in their control. Sticky traps at the base of tree trunks have also been used. 

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