Spotted Lanternflies: Taking Over the Northeast


Ciara Dirr, Staff Writer

The spotted lantern fly was discovered in Pennsylvania in September of 2014.

Now they are becoming a big problem especially in the northeast. They are native to China, India and Vietnam. They have spread to New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Ohio.

These insects can really impact the world in a bad way. They can reduce the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas because they damage trees that we need to breathe. They mostly feed on sap from the trees which is why they normally feed on a lot of trees that you see. That’s how the trees get damaged because of the lantern flies feeding on the sap which the trees need a lot of to stay alive.

People should be keeping an eye out for any lanternflies they see. If you see one, you have to stomp on it instantly and kill it, so that they don’t keep spreading.

We can help save the trees and plants from dying! This could also help us be able to be a part of helping the earth to stay healthy.

What to look out for: How would you know if something you see is actually a lanternfly? Well, here’s how. Lanternflies are usually spotted with black spots and greyish- beige wings. The under wings are bright red so it looks a faint pink when the fly is resting. They can be seen around any type of trees or plants for the sap and the many other things that they feed on.

What other foods do they feed on? Spotted lanternflies feed on a lot of foods. They feed on a wide variety of fruits, Ornamental, and woody trees. but trees are their biggest target for food. Spotted lanternflies can be spread long distance by people who move infested materials or items like egg masses so people alway have to check if there things are clear from eggs if they are going to a different state or country for vacation.

What do there eggs look like? The size of the egg sacks can vary, but spotted lanternflys eggmass is about an inch long  by 3/4 of an inch wide. They look like light grayish patches of mud or mortar/cement. some surfaces can have more than one egg mass. There are some that are white too, but they are mostly gray. If you see one you can take a bag and fill it with hand sanitizer or anything with alcohol as long as you scrape the eggs into the bag. When you get them into the bag, the eggs will touch the alcohol and that will make sure you kill them. This could help reduce the spread of spotted lantern flies.

Help stomp them out!