The State DEC and Agriculture and Markets has confirmed that spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Yates County. A single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan.
The spotted latternfly is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species including tree-of-heaven, maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops. Their feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. The insect also excretes large amounts of sticky “honeydew,” which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. It also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.
While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. DEC officials say they lay their eggs on any number of surfaces such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood.
A second single adult laternfly was discovery in Albany County.
Adult SLF are active from July to December. They are approximately one-inch long and half an inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Adults begin laying eggs in October. Signs of an SLF infestation may include:
• Sap oozing or weeping from open wounds on tree trunks, which appear wet and give off fermented odors.
• One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old egg masses are brown and scaly.
• Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold developing.
Anyone that suspects they have found SLF is encouraged to send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note the location of where the insect was found, egg masses, and/or infestation signs.
DEC and DAM also encourage the public to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, furniture, and firewood for egg masses. Anyone that visits the Pennsylvania or New Jersey Quarantine Areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage and gear for SLF and egg masses before leaving and scrape off all egg masses.