Spotted lanternfly

Identification & Biology
Latin Name : Lycorma delicatula
Category : Insects & Spiders
Description :
  • Adults are approximately 20-26 mm long and 12 mm wide.
  • Front wings are light brown/grey with black spots and dark speckled bands near the back. Rear wings are red in colour and have black spots near the front and white and black bands at the back.
  • Abdomen is yellow with horizontal black stripes.
  • Early stage nymphs are black and white, while later stage nymphs are black, white, and red.
  • Newly laid egg masses are brown in colour and covered in a grey, waxy coating. Older egg masses lose the coating, and look like seeds arranged in 4 to 7 vertical rows.


The spotted lanternfly is a unique and colourful insect that feeds on various host plants throughout its development. Eggs are laid on host plant surfaces or other surfaces nearby, such as bricks, stones, lawn furniture, vehicles, and other structures. Eggs hatch in spring or early summer, and nymphs then disperse from their hatching site in search of a host. Adults develop in late July and focus their feeding on tree-of-heaven and grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Both nymphs and adults feed by sucking sap from young stems and leaves. Nymphs and adults tend to gather in large numbers on the host plant, either at the base of the tree or in the canopy. Spotted lanternfly can spread by walking or flying short distances, and can be moved long distances through human-assisted transport of all life stages.


The spotted lanternfly is native to China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and has been introduced to Korea where it is considered a pest. It was first detected in North America in Pennsylvania in September 2014. Spotted lanternfly is not known to exist in Canada, but was added to the regulated pest list in 2018 in an effort to prevent the introduction from infested areas. The spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of plant species, such as tree-of-heaven, grapes, willows, and stone fruits.

Impact & Risks
  • The spotted lanternfly feeds on over 70 species of host plants and trees. The feeding damage significantly stresses the plants and trees which can lead to decreased health and potentially death. This threatens wine and grape, tender fruit, apple, and forestry industries.
  • When the spotted lanternfly feeds, it exposes sap and excretes a substance called honeydew. This creates ‘weeping wounds’ on host species, which attract wasps and bees, foul foliage and fruit, and are often covered in sooty-looking mold.
  • Buildup of egg masses and insect secretions (honeydew) can cause damage to patio furniture, garden ornaments, and cars, and compromise enjoyment of outdoor activities.
Prevention & Mitigation

The most effective way to ensure that the spotted lanternfly does not arrive to Canada is by prevention. Here are some recommendations to prevent a spotted lanternfly invasion:

  • Learn how to identify spotted lanternfly and raise awareness to avoid the spread of this species.
  • If you are visiting an infested area, check your car, clothing, outdoor furniture, equipment and belongings for adults, nymphs, and egg masses and remove them before leaving. Do not store items or park under infested trees.
  • Do not transport firewood. Buy it where you burn it!
  • Report all possible sightings of spotted lanternfly to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at 
Treatment & Disposal

The primary management objective in Canada is to prevent the introduction and establishment of spotted lanternfly. In regions of the U.S.A. where the spotted lanternfly is already established, management options include:

  • Egg scraping – be on the lookout for egg masses on infested trees. Use a flat object to scrape off egg masses into a plastic bag, seal, and throw away.
  • Check products or packages for spotted lanternfly before shipping, especially if within an infested area.
  • Tree banding – adhesive paper bands can be placed around high-risk trees (e.g. tree of heaven) to capture spotted lanternfly. Tree bands are routinely removed and disposes of to kill spotted lanternfly individuals.
  • Tree removal – infested trees and high risk host trees (e.g. tree of heaven) can be removed from an infested site.
  • Insecticides – licensed applicators can use insecticides to control spotted lanternfly populations.


Information sourced from Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Forest Invasives Canada.

Okanagan Distribution

Priority Level Definitions

Watch For - Poses a significant threat (very high risk) and does NOT presently occur in the region OR is relatively new to the region and is very limited in extent.
High - High risk/impact; limited population with significant potential to spread in the region.
Medium - Medium risk/impact; limited distribution – broader population distribution with potential to spread further in a region.
Low - Low risk/impact; may be widespread or not, may be of concern in specific situations with certain high values – e.g. specific agriculture crops. Some species may be treated primarily with biological control agents.