Spotted Lanternfly Edges Toward NC

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Adult Spotted Lanternfly insect

Image by Penn State Extension

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported last week that the invasive insect pest, the Spotted Lanternfly, has an established population in Carroll County, VA, just north of Surry County and the Yadkin Valley. The effects of a Spotted Lanternfly infestation may greatly threaten the North Carolina wine and grape industry, as well native hardwood forest species. This insect is associated with another invasive, the tree species Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, which appears to be a preferred host for more mature life stages of the insect.

Across North Carolina, we should keep a watchful eye out for this pest, which is very distinct from other insects. In the late fall and winter, the egg mass will be the visible lifestage, which can occur on ANY flat surface. If you suspect a possible Spotted Lanternfly, contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office, as well as the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to submit a photo to badbug@ncagr.gov.

The NCDA&CS memorandum states:  It is imperative that we keep this pest out of North Carolina and early detection is critical. If you see Spotted Lanternfly or suspect that you see Spotted Lanternfly please take a picture and submit it in an email to badbug@ncagr.gov or you can call the NCDA&CS at 919-707-3730. The NCDA&CS has also developed Preparedness Kits for grape growers and can be reached in the same manner if you would like to request these for yourself and other outreach materials for your staff and/ or guests.