The State of Spotted Lanternfly for 2022
Despite some unseasonably warm days throughout the country, November is about the time of year you’d expect spotted lanternfly (SLF, Lycorma delicatula) and other insects to begin dying off for the season. That means that the insect has largely stopped spreading to new locations for the year. While the egg masses (most of which have been laid) can be moved to new locations by human means such as shipping and transportation, new egg masses won’t be laid. This makes it a good time to see how the range of this novel invasive insect has spread in 2022.
Spotted lanternfly continues to establish new breeding populations in states where it has already been found. A new population was found in Springfield, MA this summer, adding to the state’s several finds. SLF has spread throughout most of upstate New York and has been found in several places in New York City. The state of Delaware expanded its quarantine to cover all three of the state’s counties. Additional quarantined counties were added to Virginia. And after numerous sightings throughout North Carolina, there is now an established population near Winston-Salem.
SLF also continued their spread westward, after appearing in eastern Ohio in 2020. It has now been identified in northern Indiana and in Michigan just north of Detroit.
The southern infestation is of particular concern. Since SLF die off with continued cold weather, their life cycle would be extended in warmer southern states. It’s possible that in warm climates that don’t typically experience hard freezes such as Florida or California, SLF will survive throughout their normal dormant period.
Taken together, spotted lanternfly is now has established populations in 14 states throughout the east coast and Midwest, and has been identified in 2 more.
Spotted lanternfly finds as of 10/26/22
While SLF is a voracious pest with over 100 host plants, including grapes, apples, and hops, it is generally not lethal to trees, and solutions do exist. Microinjections of IMA-jet have shown good results in eliminating the insect from host trees and reducing honeydew and sooty mold damage.
Counties and states near existing infestations should strongly consider preventative treatments of IMA-jet on vulnerable host trees such as maple, walnut, cherry, birch, and willow. Learn more about Arborjet’s solutions at https://arborjet.com/goodbye-spotted-lanternfly/