Detection:In the spring or early summer look for nymphs feeding on smaller plants, vines and new growth of trees and shrubs. Later in the year older nymphs, along with adults, may be seen feeding, most often on the branches and trunk of tree of heaven or on grapevine. During the day, adults are more likely to be found at the base of the plant stem. Egg masses may be found on smooth surfaces of the trunk of tree of heaven, or on vertical surfaces of other plants or objects near to tree of heaven. See slideshow to the right for photos of life stages.
Attacked trees may have wounds oozing sap. Sap, along with honeydew secreted by the lanternfly, may accumulate at the base of the tree, and may have mould growing on it. Leaves of attacked branches may wilt and die.
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) attacks a number of economically important tree species including fruit trees, grapevine, and conifers. If it were able to establish here in Canada it could pose a threat to viticulture and fruit growing industries.
Trees at risk: The spotted lanternfly's preferred host is tree of heaven, but also attacks grapevine, apple, stone fruit and pine, and may attack other tree species when populations are high. The lanternfly damages the tree through its feeding activity - the loss of sap weakens the plant and can kill it when there are large number of the insect feeding on one tree. Mould growth on sugary exudates can impair photosynthesis, reducing quality and yield of fruit crops.
Current range: The spotted lanternfly is native to China, is also found in Japan and Vietnam. In North America it was first detected in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, where it is now a serious pest. Since then, populations have been found in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Indiana.
What you can do: If you have tree of heaven in your yard, check it, and objects near it, for egg masses or for feeding insects.
If you think you have found spotted lanternfly in Canada, contact the CFIA Plant Health Surveillance Unit.