Spotted Lanternfly

Actual Size: 1”- 1.5” wide

Characteristics: Yellow abdomen with black markings. Gray and speckled forewings with distinctive red hindwings. 

Legs: Six

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Drawn to fruit, ornamental, and woody trees. Primarily found in the eastern regions of the United States. 


  • Produces honeydew, which can attract other pests and lead to the growth of sooty mold.
  • Invasive species that spreads quickly by laying mud-like egg masses on trees, landscaping equipment, bikes, and more.
  • Most attracted to the tree of heaven, but will also infect other trees like maples, oak, walnut, and fruit trees.

Spotted Lanternflies in Vermont

Originally found in China and South Asian countries, the spotted lanternfly has become a major problem in Vermont since its introduction to the United States in 2014. Though these pests are small, they pose a significant ecological threat. They feed on the sap of the trees and produce honeydew, which can promote the growth of sooty mold fungus and disrupt photosynthesis. Within a short amount of time, these pests can severely damage or kill trees, attract additional pests to the area, and wreak havoc on the local environment.

Spotted Lanternflies Habitat

Here in Vermont, spotted lanternflies are an invasive species. They primarily infest ailanthus altissima trees (known as the tree of heaven), but will also feed on pine, oak, poplar, sycamore, willow, and other trees. Though spotted lanternflies are winged, they do not fly long distances. Instead, they spread by laying waxy egg masses on things like vehicles, trailers, and bikes. These egg masses look like a mud smear and measure about an inch long. Should you discover an egg mass on your belongings, crush and scrape it off. Inspect the rest of your gear to check for more.

Spotted Lanternfly Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though spotted lanternflies are a serious threat to our local environment, they are not dangerous to human health. These pests are not known to sting, bite, or spread diseases. That said, it’s still important to quickly address an infestation if you notice them in your landscape. Spotted lanternflies can reproduce extremely quickly and cause long-lasting damage within a short amount of time. If you notice these pests on your property or suspect you are facing an infestation, contact your local pest control experts for fast and thorough removal.