The Spotted Lanternfly in Delaware

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The Spotted Lanternfly in Delaware

The Delaware Department of Agriculture has detected and confirmed populations of spotted lanternfly within Sussex County, including Georgetown, Milford, Ocean View, Rehoboth, and Seaford. Due to this recent finding, effective July 12, 2022, the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine has expanded to include the entire state of Delaware. Learn more >

See also...

How to manage Spotted Lanternflies for homeowners:

Managing Spotted Lanternflies
(for Homeowners) 

Noticing more #SpottedLanternfly nymphs around your yard lately? Here are some strategies you can use to manage them!

How to destroy Spotted Lanternfly eggs:

How to destroy Spotted Lanternfly eggs

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicata, is a destructive, invasive insect that poses a threat to Delaware's agricultural economy. This fall, it is important to watch for and destroy their eggs by scraping them into a plastic bag with rubbing alcohol.

Stephen Hauss Spotted Lanternfly lecture:

Stephen Hauss Spotted Lanternfly lecture

Stephen Hauss, Environmental Scientist with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, provided a training and overview of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive pest. The workshop, recorded on Zoom in April 2020, was for an advanced training for Delaware Master Gardeners.



The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive insect originally found in China, India or Vietnam, and was introduced into Pennsylvania in 2014.

This insect is a member of Hemiptera and has piercing/sucking mouthparts. Adult spotted lanternflies are an inch long and about ½ inches wide. The front wings are grey with black spots, and the hind wings are red with black spots. Their abdomen is yellow with black bands. Immature insects are smaller, black with white spots, and as they age, red patches develop.

This particular insect is a very good hitch-hiker; consequently, vehicles, people, paving stones, and other items from neighboring states should be examined closely if they are near infestations. All outdoor items, including your vehicles, should be examined closely if they are travelling in or out of quarantined areas.

They feed on sap from a variety of host trees, including tree-of-heaven, grapes, apples, stone fruits, walnuts, willows, maples and others. Their feeding can frequently cause weeping wounds on their hosts. Excreted honeydew and the sap from the wounds, which leaves a greyish or blackish sticky trail on the plant, are attractive to ants and stinging insects such as wasps. Greyish brown egg masses may be laid on host tree trunks and branches or limbs that are higher in the canopy. They are also laid on nearby structures, stones and benches. Heavy populations may cause branch dieback, wilting, or plant death.

Industry and cooperative extension specialists from many states are working to identify effective treatment tactics, general biology, research trials and outreach efforts.

At UD, specialists are conducting a research trial in Pennsylvania on the efficacy of Acelepryn and Mainspring, two non-neonicotinoid systemic insecticides, against spotted lanternflies. Both insecticides are in the diamide class of insecticides. Research results have been used to develop a management calendar and a guide for homeowner management.

Furthermore, work at Cornell has found two native fungi – one is Beaveria bassiana – seem to cause substantial mortality to spotted lanternflies.

In many areas, tree-of-heaven is either physically removed or persists as a trap tree that is treated with an insecticide such as imidacloprid, dinotefuran, bifenthrin, or carbaryl, among some others.

Specialists continue research where populations are sufficient to investigate the ability of the insect to adapt to our environment, the use of native and non-native natural enemies to attack spotted lanternflies, host plants, dispersal at different life stages and other aspects of the insect’s biology.

At home

In the fall, winter and spring, physically remove egg masses from trees and other surfaces around your yard.

In the spring, summer and fall, keep an eye on the trees and plants in your yard for signs of spotted lanternfly nymphs and adults. For small populations, simply squish them as you find them. If you find many spotted lanternflies, you may consider using insecticidal soap sprays, insecticides or sticky tree bands (with exclusion mesh to protect birds and other animals from becoming trapped).

Please follow directions when using any product and be aware that some management options may be toxic to pests as well as beneficial insects and aquatic creatures.



When travelling

Additionally, keep in mind that vehicles, people, paving stones, and other items from neighboring states can carry spotted lanternflies to new areas. All outdoor items, including your vehicles, should be examined closely if they are travelling in or out of quarantined areas.

Have you seen this insect?

Citizen reports help DDA inspectors determine how these insects move and which transportation pathways they utilize. These reports also allow DDA to notify agricultural operations with plants vulnerable to this insect. 

Report a Spotted
Lanternfly sighting >