Report egg masses that might be spotted lantern fly in WNY

Spotted lanternfly egg masses
Spotted lanternfly egg masses resemble dried, cracked mud. Photo courtesy NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Now is the time to watch for and report egg masses of the spotted lanternfly (SLF). It’s an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on a variety of plants including grapes, hops and maple trees, posing a severe threat to New York forests and agriculture.

You can volunteer with NY iMapInvasives to look for SLF and its preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven, which is also an invasive species. Controlling infestations of the tree can help stop the spread of SLF.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer here.

NY iMapInvasives will hold a webinar on Identifying and Reporting Spotted Lanternfly and Tree-of-heaven from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23. Presenters will be Thom Allgaier and Michael Giambalvo of the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Jennifer Dean, Michell O’Neill & Meg Wilkinson of the NY Natural Heritage Program. Register in advance online.

Freezing temperatures will kill off adult insects, but the egg masses they lay in the fall can be seen throughout the winter. Egg masses tend to be about 1.5 inches long and resemble mud that has dried and cracked. You can find them on just about any flat surface, including vehicles, firewood and outdoor furniture. 

You don’t have to sign up as a volunteer to report what you believe may be an SLF egg mass. Take a photo and note the location. Then report it to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets by filling out their online reporting form.

You can also contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in your area.

egg mass of spotted lanternfly
The egg masses of the spotted lanternfly are small, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Photo courtesy NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

5 Comments on “Report egg masses that might be spotted lantern fly in WNY

  1. Hi Brenda and R Corn, I got this response from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation:

    Steps to destroy the egg masses after removal can be found here on Cornell’s website:

    https://nysipm.cornell.edu/environment/invasive-species-exotic-pests/spotted-lanternfly/spotted-lanternfly-ipm/management-destruction-egg-masses/

    Egg Mass Destruction

    Destruction of spotted lanternfly egg masses can help prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly. Eggs can be laid on any hard surface, including plastic, wood, and metal. Trees, rocks, fence posts, automobiles, trains, equipment, and more can harbor egg masses. With 30 – 50 eggs per egg mass, it’s important to inspect anything moving from an area that has an infestation to prevent the spread to a new location.

    If you find egg masses:

    Scrape egg masses using scraper cards, or anything else that is hard, tapered and/or flat.
    Kill eggs by putting them into doubled bags, alcohol/hand sanitizer, or by smashing or burning them.

  2. Hi Brenda and R Corn, I haven’t gotten a definitive answer to your question. I haven’t found out what the next steps would be if you have egg masses that turn out to actually be SLF. It would be a big deal if SLF were spotted around here, so you would probably be contacted by experts with detailed instructions on what to do next. Perhaps the experts would handle it themselves. Either way, the people who know what to do would want to make sure the appropriate steps are taken.

  3. I’m asking the same question, what do we do when we find a mass besides contacting Cornell?

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