Spotted lanternfly confirmed in North Carolina

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Over the past few years, we have been saying it’s a matter of “when”– not “if”– the spotted lanternfly would invade North Carolina. Well, we no longer have to wonder. Recently, an established population of spotted lanternfly was confirmed in North Carolina for the first time.

An established population of the spotted lanternfly was detected in North Carolina for the first time in June 2022. Image taken June 2022 in NC by: Joy Goforth, NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division.

On June 29, 2022, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (NCDA&CS) announced an infested area in Kernersville, a suburb of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County. Initial surveys indicate the infestation covers a 5-mile-radius area, indicating it’s likely been there for a couple of years before it was reported. The NCDA&CS continue to survey to determine the extent of the infestation and are already starting treatments to reduce populations.

The spotted lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect native to Asia. First detected in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014, it has since been detected in 9 additional states. In late 2021, an infestation popped up very near to the NC-VA state line, prompting concern that its invasion into NC was imminent.

The spotted lanternfly is an agricultural, ornamental, and nuisance pest. They use piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant phloem. Agriculturally, the threat is primarily to grapevine, in which up to 90% yield reduction of infested vineyards is documented. During heavy infestations, grapevines may be killed and mating swarms may disrupt agrotourism events at vineyards such as tours and weddings. Moreover, SLF feeds on more than 100 species of plants, including hops, fruit trees (apple, plum, cherry, peach, more), native trees (dogwood, oak, maple, beech, more) and many more. Spotted lanternfly is not suspected to cause tree mortality, but feeding retrieves nutrients from the plant, weakening it, reducing photosynthesis, and making plants more susceptible to other stress agents. In rare cases, SLF has killed young or not-yet-established plants.

Small red and black insects with white spots lined up along a plant stem.

Spotted lanternflies are gregarious, often feeding on plants in groups and infamous for their mating swarms. The last nymph stage is black and red with white spots. Image taken June 2022 in NC by: Joy Goforth, NCDS&CS Plant Industry Division.

As a nuisance pest, SLF congregates near and in homes and businesses, causing aggravation among those who encounter it. Because they aggregate, copious amounts of honeydew (an excrement of plant-sucking insects) and sooty mold accompany an infestation. Sooty mold is a fungus that grows on honeydew. In small quantities, it is generally harmless, but in excess, it can block plant photosynthetic capabilities and be an aesthetic nuisance to homeowners. Spotted lanternfly feeding sites may also ooze sap and be accompanied by a fermented smell which often attracts other insects like yellow jackets, bees, ants, and flies.

What should you do if you suspect you find SLF in NC? Report it! The NCDA&CS responds promptly and the more quickly they are made aware of an infestation, the greater their chances of management are. To report SLF, submit your information and a photo using this online form.