Spotted Lanternfly Description:

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect species native to Asia. This insect’s eggs are laid in masses about 1” long and may look like patches of crusted mud. Hatched nymphs are black with white dots. Adults are about 1” long with gray forewings that have black spots. Hindwings are a vivid rose-red color with black tips and a white band running down the center. They have black legs and heads and yellow and black abdomens.


Spotted lanternflies attack various landscape trees including:

  • Tree of Heaven
  • Oaks
  • Maples
  • Fruit and nut trees

They are also known to favor valuable crop plants such as grapes, hops, and orchard fruits.

Biology & Symptoms:

The most noticeable symptom of spotted lanternfly is wilted trees. In severe cases, the entire tree’s foliage may be wilting, and the trunk could have open, oozing wounds. Spotted lanternflies secrete a sugary, sticky substance called honeydew. Honeydew can attract wasp and bee populations but can also be a growth medium for fungi such as sooty mold, which can stunt the growth of the tree and cause further damage. Eggs are usually laid during late fall. Female spotted lanternflies lay their eggs on various vertical surfaces such as:

  • Nearby trees
  • Stone buildings
  • Planters
  • Cars
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Lawn machinery
  • Other solid outdoor surfaces


Proper identification is important to managing spotted lanternfly. This pest lays eggs on multiple surfaces and can be easily transported to new breeding grounds, so as soon as damage is visible, locating new eggs before they hatch is crucial. If egg masses are found, they should be scraped off, smashed, and double bagged before being thrown away. It is also helpful to report any sightings to your state’s Department of Agriculture. This is something your local arborist can assist you with. If you have common host trees to spotted lanternflies, it is recommended to take precautionary measures to avoid infestation. Contact your local arborist to find out which treatments may help decrease the likelihood of infestation on your landscape trees.

See More Articles

Pest And Disease Center Vascular Wilt Disease Banner 1440X500
Mold or Fungus

Vascular Wilt Diseases

Vascular wilt diseases are caused by different fungi that attack the vascular (water-conducting) system of trees. A tree responds by blocking its vascular system to contain the disease. In doing so, the water supply to the leaves is cut off.
Read More
Pest And Disease Slime Flux Banner 1440X500
Substance on Leaf or Oozing

Bacterial Wetwood & Slime Flux

Bacterial wetwood is a bacterial infection that causes a profuse flow (flux) of sap from trunk wounds or pruning cuts.
Read More
DSC 8019
DSC 8019

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!