News

Help Stop Spread of Spotted Lanternfly in Upper Delaware River Valley Region

By Margaret Allen
The Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect discovered in the area back in 2014, has been moving towards the Upper Delaware River Valley region and local organizations are looking for help to stop it's path. The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) and Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) are offering free supplies to do just that, as the invasive insect’s eggs head toward a spring hatch. Business-sized, laminated cards provide tips on how to detect and stop Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) and can be used as scrapers to collect a specimen or destroy the egg masses from developing. While not harmful to human health, it poses a significant threat to the agricultural industry and timber harvesting-related businesses. The eggs attach to many different hosts including tree trunks but also motor vehicles and plows, posing the greatest risk of being transported to new areas. The cards with photos and tips are available at the Upper Delaware Council office on Bridge St. in Narrowsburg, NY, or email [email protected] to request a quantity by mail.

First discovered in Berks County, PA in 2014, SLF (Lycorma delicatula) have been found encroaching in the direction of the Upper Delaware River Valley region with reports in Port Jervis (Orange County) and the Town of Bethel (Sullivan County). While not harmful to human health, the voracious pest poses a significant threat to the agricultural industry and timber harvesting-related businesses by attacking grapevines, hops, maple and walnut trees, and fruits such as grapes and apples. In late fall through early December, adult SLF lay eggs on host tree trunks and smooth surfaces such as rocks, motor vehicles, farm equipment, plows, and outdoor furniture in masses of 30 to 50 eggs. They have a mud-like covering which can take on a dry, cracked appearance over time. The egg masses present the greatest risk for accidental transport of SLF to new areas.
After they hatch in late April to mid-May, nymphs crawl and jump to search out new hosts such as agricultural crops and plants. Spotted Lanternfly has been reported to prey upon nearly 70 different species of hosts in Asia where it originated. Their excretions when feeding can cause extensive damage and mortality. They enter adult stage in mid-July and take on a much different, colorful appearance. Quarantine areas have been established in certain counties within Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia to combat infestations that can take hold when the egg masses or adult SLF hitch rides on vehicles or movable items.
To confirm a SLF sighting in Pennsylvania, visit https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternfly, email [email protected] or call 1-888-4BADFLY. To report a finding of SLF in New York State, email a photo and the location to: [email protected]
The cards offering photos and tips are produced by New York State Agriculture & Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, and were provided through the New York State Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Program. They are available for pick-up at the Upper Delaware Council office, located at 211 Bridge St. in Narrowsburg, NY, or by calling (845) 252-3022 or emailing [email protected] to request a quantity by mail.