Trevose Horticultural Society Warns Of Spotted Lanternfly

Late nymph (actual size = 1/2") Found July-September. Photo credit: PA Department of Agriculture
Colleen Michaels speaks at this past week’s Trevose Horticultural Society meeting. Photo by Sam Foxwell.

The Trevose Horticultural Society hosted an information session this past week at the Bensalem Senior Center detailing the risks of the Spotted Lanternfly invading Bucks County.

First found in Berks County back in 2014, is now present in at least 14 counties throughout Pennsylvania, according to the PA Deptartment of Agriculture. While it does not sting or bite, the Lanternfly’s most devastating effects are seen in plant life.

The Spotted Lanternfly sucks on host plants and trees with a straw-like mouthpart, which can create a layer of ooze. This insect ultimately stifles the photosynthesis processes of thousands of plants through their poisonous excrement.

Colleen Michaels, a chemical engineer and native of Bucks County, detailed the ways to spot the spreading of the spotted Lanternfly, and how to curb its presence in Pennsylvania’s agricultural system.

The life-cycle of the Spotted Lanternfly. Photos via E. Swackhamer and the PA Dept. of Agriculture.

The Spotted Lanternfly typically uses the Tree of Heaven as its host to lay eggs, alongside the grape tree. Michaels notes that the spotted Lanternfly’s egg mass looks strikingly similar to gypsy moss, commonly found on those types of trees.

More information on how to detect the Spotted Lanternfly is available from the PA Department of Agriculture here.

WBCB’s Sam Foxwell contributed to this post.