Spotted Lanternfly Information

Spotted Lanternfly Frequently Asked QuestionsThe Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species native to Southeast Asia that is infesting counties across the state of Pennsylvania and other areas in the United States. Residents throughout Hatboro can do their part in helping to eliminate the invasive species from Montgomery County and beyond.

Montgomery County resides within Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly Quaratined area. As a result, yard waste from the Borough of Hatboro cannot be transported out of Montgomery County. Additionally, residents are encouraged to check their cars, trailers, etc. before traveling to avoid transporting the Spotted Lanternfly to new areas.

The Borough of Hatboro Public Works Department created a list of frequently asked questions and tips to aid residents in identifying the Spotted Lanternfly and preventative measures they can take.

How do I identify a Spotted Lanternfly?

All life stages of the spotted lanternfly, from egg to adult.
Photo credit to Penn State Extension

Spotted Lanternflies appear differently throughout their growth stages. While in the nymph growth stages, the Lanternflies cannot fly and their appearance ranges from the following:

  • Black with bright white spots (typically size of pencil eraser or slightly larger)
  • Vibrant red with patches of black and white (this is just prior to adulthood)

When the Spotted Lanternfly reaches adulthood, it transforms into a leafhopper with gray/black spotted wings approximately 1″ in length. When the Lanternfly opens its wings, you will see bright reds and oranges underneath the wings.

In the late fall and winter, the Lanternfly will lay egg masses on trees, structures, furniture, cars, etc. These egg masses are typically black in color and should be scraped off immediately upon noticing them.

For more information on identifying the Spotted Lanternfly, please click here.

What should I do if I see a Spotted Lanternfly?

If you see a Spotted Lanternfly in ANY stage of life (nymph and adult) you should kill it immediately. If you discover egg masses on structures or trees, you should scrape the masses off the structure and place them in alcohol or destroy it using another method to kill it prior to disposing.

Why are Spotted Lanternflies a threat?

Spotted Lanternflies feed on the sap of plants and when they feed in high numbers, they can cause damage to or even kill plants. They feed essential plants including crops which creates havoc in forests and farms. This has been known to create a reduced yield in important crops including grapes, apples, hops, walnuts, and hardwood trees. These markets make up for over 18 Billion dollars of Pennsylvania’s economy.

Will Spotted Lanternflies harm humans or animals?

The Spotted Lanternfly is not known to bite, sting, or attack humans, pets, and animals. It is unknown whether the Spotted Lanternfly is poisonous when ingested by humans or animals at this time. The Spotted Lanternfly will affect quality of life through killing crops, affecting outdoor recreation, and more.

What can I do to help eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly?

Homeowners can help eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly by killing the pest whenever it is seen on their property or belongings.

Residents should inspect their properties for the Tree of Heaven and eliminate the tree to prevent attracting the Spotted Lanternflies.

To protect trees and trap the Spotted Lanternfly, The Penn State Extension recommends the use of sticky-tape that can be wrapped around the trees to trap the pests when they land on the tree. Residents who opt to use this method should cover their sticky-tape or sticky-bands with wire or metal fencing to prevent animals from getting caught on the adhesive.

The Penn State Extension and the EPA have also prepared a list of chemicals and insecticides safe to use for killing the Spotted Lanternfly. For a complete list of these chemicals, please click here.

What is being done in Hatboro to help eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly?

The Hatboro Public Works Department routinely searches for Spotted Lanternflies during routine maintenance and kills the pest upon discovery. The Department also canvassed the Borough’s Parks to identify the Spotted Lanternfly’s preferred host: The Tree of Heaven. Once identified, each Tree of Heaven was removed from the park. 

The Borough is also dedicated to continually educating residents on the Spotted Lanternfly and how they can help eliminate the invasive species.