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What is spotted lanternfly?
Spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that has been found in Michigan. It feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of its preferred hosts. It can move long distances by hitchhiking or laying egg masses on vehicles, outdoor equipment and firewood. This pest can have negative effects on specialty crops and be a nuisance in outdoor areas.
Spotted lanternfly's favorite hosts are tree of heaven and grapes, but they can be found anywhere outdoors. Look for these different life stages:
Spotted lanternfly photos
The following images can help identify spotted lanternfly. Click on each photo for descriptions.
Additional species info
Spotted lanternfly prefers to feed on the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but also will feed on a wide range of plants including grapes, and other trees such as black walnut, river birch, willow, sumac and red maple.
Native to Eastern Asia, the spotted lanternfly has spread in several eastern states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Your, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and others. In Michigan it has been detected in areas of Oakland County.
Spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 different plants including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees. The insects cause direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests like yellow jackets, flies, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.
How it spreads
Although spotted lanternflies cannot fly long distances, they lay eggs on nearly any surface like cars, trailers, firewood, outdoor furniture and more. Before leaving an infested area, check vehicles, firewood and outdoor equipment for unwanted hitchhikers.