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Plant Health Care - Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly
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Spotted Lanternfly

Life Cycle

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect originally from Asia that is no posing a direct threat to Pennsylvania trees, shrubs, and vines. Detected in Pennsylvania in 2014 the lanternfly has since moved to Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia. The spotted lanternfly displays a combination of traits that make it a particularly alarming threat. Few preditors will feed on it, it’s a relatively large size, it exhibits a need for near-constant feeding, and it freely moves between and feeds upon more than 70 species - 25 of which can be found in Pennsylvania. Because of these traits, the insects have the potential to kill trees and shrubs outright by feeding on them or, even worse, by transmitting diseases from tree to tree. 


Spotted Lanternfly Environmental Impact

Spotted lanternfly causes damage to plants in two ways. the nymphs and adults feed on plants by piercing the tree bark to remove fluids which has been shown to cause stunted growth, localized damage and even death to the plant. Additionally, as the lanternfly feeds, it excretes a sugary substance called honeydew. This honeydew, in addition to being attractive to ants, wasps, and other insects, is readily colonized by spotty mold, which can cause parts of the tree to become blackened, reducing photosynthesis and affecting the growth and quality of plants. 



Here is a listing of some of the many plants on which spotted lanternfly has been found feeding. Please keep in mind that this is not a complete listing of plants that could be affected, because there is still research being done.

  • Cherry

  • Hickory

  • Maple

  • Oak

  • Pine

  • Sycamore

  • Walnut

  • WIllow


Stop the spread - Schedule a Treatment

Horgan Tree Experts has certified Plant Health Care Specialists trained in insecticide management to fight the growth and spread of spotted lanterfly’s. Depending on the population level and lifecycle stage, our certified arborist can suggest certain types of insecticide and application techniques, such as topical or systemic application. 


If you’re worried about Spotted Lanternfly or are starting to notice signs of the insect on your trees, schedule an appointment with one of our Arborists. They will be able to develop a custom plan to prevent and fight the spotted lanternfly on your property. Just give us a call at 610-644-1663 or email


Learn More:

PA Department of Agriculture

Penn State Extension - Spotted Lanternfly Management for Homeowners

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