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Watch Out—Spotted Lanternfly in Western PA

Spotted Lanternfly, also referred to as SLF, has recently been spotted in western Pennsylvania adding Allegheny and Beaver counties to the list of quarantined counties.  Originally discovered in Berks County (eastern PA) in 2014, this invasive species of planthoppers can cause serious damage to trees and has the potential to greatly impact the Pennsylvania agriculture industry.  Native to China, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam, the Spotted Lanternfly has now been found in 26 counties in Pennsylvania—more than doubling the quarantined zones in 2020. Horhut Tree Experts is here to help you learn more about the SLF and what to do if you see one!


How would you know if you saw one? The Spotted Lanternfly is recognized by its unique colors and spots.  Their forewings are grey with black spots and the wing tips are reticulated black blocks outlined with grey.  On their hind wings, they have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band.  Its black legs and head surround a yellow abdomen with broad black bands.  At rest, the adult species are 1” long and ½” wide.  If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, it is imperative that you report the sighting by calling 1-888-4BADFLY.

Damages Caused by SLF

The Spotted Lanternfly causes serious damages to trees, especially apples, hops, and hardwoods.  Damages include oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling and tree dieback.  The species also excretes a sugary substance called honeydew that encourages the growth of black sooty mold.  Not only do infested areas suffer from quality of life, but they suffer economically when SLF impacts the agriculture industries.

Controlling and Containing the Spread of SLF

Pennsylvania State University, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and PA Department of Agriculture (PDA), has been working together to control and contain the spread of SLF.  They have been actively treating locations on the outlying areas of infestations and moving inward to the quarantined areas.  PDA is actively searching all counties in the Commonwealth for any possible sightings.

How Can You Help

First and foremost, businesses and homeowners should report any sightings of the Spotted Lanternfly to 1-888-4BADFLY.  Secondly, do anything you can to rid yourself of the pest—kill, squash, smash.  Thirdly, contact a local tree company in Pittsburgh, such as Horhut Tree Experts, to help prevent an infestation on your property.  Infected trees can either be controlled with pesticide applications or physically removed by a professional tree company in Pittsburgh.

Tree Company Servicing Pittsburgh and Surrounding Areas

Spotted Lanternfly is an extremely invasive species of planthoppers that need to be taken care of immediately. To protect your trees from SLF, contact Horhut Tree Experts in Pittsburgh at 412-855-2703.  Our dedicated team will inspect your property for any threat of SLF and take appropriate courses of action to prevent any spreading.
Jaime Horhut