The Spotted Lanternfly is not an actual fly. It is a planthopper native to Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since been seen in some neighboring states. It is a pest insect because of its feeding habits as well as its secretions. Spotted Lanternflies and their young nymphs pierce the soft tissue of plants like stems and new twigs in order to suck the nutritious juices from the plant. In large numbers, such feeding eventually deprives the plant of needed nourishment which can stunt its growth, crimp the amount of fruit produced, or even kill the plant. Popular fruit trees like apple, peach, plum, cherry, and nectarine are victims to this insect. Grape vines and cucumber plants are also affected as are oak, maple, willow, sycamore, pine, and almond trees. In addition to siphoning juices, the Spotted Lanternfly secretes a sweet, sticky waste called honeydew that attracts ants and wasps. Honeydew can become mildewy and leave a black, sooty film on all parts of the plant. This film hinders a leaf's ability to absorb sunlight, weakening its photosynthetic efforts. Measures to discover populations and control them are already underway in the states where sightings have occurred.
apple; cherry; grapevine; peach; plum; pine; Tree of Heaven
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* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Spotted Lanternfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Spotted Lanternfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.