by Dr. Nancy Power, Ph.D. in Entomology | Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 –

Adult Spotted Lanternfly. Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,

Visiting my family in Pennsylvania in October 2019, I found my sister Rita in a pitched battle with thousands of spotted lanternfly (SLF) adults and egg masses in the yard of her suburban Philadelphia home. I helped her scrape egg masses off the bark of her ornamental trees. Earlier in the season, she had used a vacuum and extension-prescribed, homemade circle traps to stem the onslaught of adults and nymphs (immatures). As fast as she killed them, though, more flew in from the neighboring yards.

Despite its name, the SLF is not a fly but a planthopper. Read on to learn more about its lifecycle, its favorite host plants, and what you can do to keep this invasive species out of North Carolina.