Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula  


From VT Spotted Lanternfly website

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) was detected in Virginia in January 2018. It is an invasive planthopper that was discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. In Pennsylvania and its native range, it is a pest of grapes, peaches, hops, and apples. It is commonly associated with Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima. It has the potential to be a serious pest of agriculture and home gardens in Virginia.

Identification: The first stage nymph is wingless, black, and has white spots on the body and legs. The last nymphal instar develops red patches over the body while retaining the white-spot pattern.

Adult SLF are approximately 1” long and ½” wide. The legs and head are black, while the abdomen is yellow with broad, black bands on top and bottom. Its forewings are light-brown/grey with black spots and the wings tips have reticulated black rectangular blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings are a scarlet red with black spots and tips of reticulated black blocks, separated by a white stripe. At rest, the SLF shows light-brown, grayish wings with black spots held “tent-like” over its body. Adult females are distinguished by the presence of a red spot on the end of the abdomen.

SLF egg masses (oothecae) contain 30-50 eggs, are 1-1.5” long and ½-¾” wide, grayish-brown in color, and covered with a grey, waxy coating (newly laid oothecae are somewhat shiny). Old oothecae appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns, measuring roughly 1” long.

Hosts: Although SLF is most commonly found on Ailanthus, (Tree of Heaven), it can be found on over 100 other species of trees (oaks, maples, locust, walnut, sassafras, wild cherry, mulberry, hackberry and others) and is a serious pest of both cultivated and wild grapes. 

Invasive  Tree of Heaven & Native Look-Alike ID Photographs

Invasive Plant Species: Tree of Heaven

Residential Control of Tree of Heaven (scroll down to find calendar, treatment and timing)

Signs and symptoms of SLF: Since the SLF produces sugary secretions called honeydew, look for the black sooty mold that grows on the honeydew. The sooty mold will cover branches, trunks, and man-made objects under the tree. In addition, some of the honeydew will ferment leaving a vinegar smell. The black sooty mold makes it appear like a fire has scorched in the area.


Squash it! Take a picture! Report it!   

To report, fill out the form on this page:

SLF Management Guide – Penn St. Extension

Best Management Practices for SLF in Yards and Landscape (ENTO – 344)

Before removing any plant material infested with spotted lanternfly it is necessary to treat it with insecticide or if you have the means, destroy the plant material on-site.  Do not move infested, untreated plants out of their original location.

Residential Controls of SLF  Spanish Translation: ENTO – 322S

Check your vehicle for hitchhikers if you travel to an area that is known to be infested with the spotted lanternfly before returning to Loudoun County.  Virginia distribution map.

Need a speaker or training on the topic?  Please send an email to or requesting such.

For businesses inside a VA Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences (VDACs) quarantined area, SLF quarantine training can be found here: Registration (it may take a few seconds to load the page).

Educational presentations:

Educational publications:

Squash it! Take a picture! Report it!
Please fill out the form on this page: