Save the grapes & other crops from spotted lanternflies in WNY

adult spotted lanternflies
Spotted lanternfly adults like these have been found in Western New York. The insects are one inch long. Photo courtesy Brian Eshenaur

by Connie Oswald Stofko

I hope you’ve been keeping your eyes open for the invasive spotted lanternfly. In July, a spotted lanternfly was found in West Seneca, but it was dead.

Then in September, more than 100 live spotted lanternflies were found in Buffalo.

Not only can it damage garden plants, the spotted lanternfly (SLF) can wreak havoc on vineyards.

“SLF can have a devastating impact on vineyards, as we’ve seen in neighboring states, so we need everyone’s help to be on the lookout for this invasive and to report it immediately,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. 

SLF feeds on more than 70 plant species.

Spotted lanternflies are hitchhikers

Spotted lanternflies have spread quickly in New York State. They were spotted first on Staten Island in August 2020, and have spread to all New York City boroughs, Long Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, Ithaca, Binghamton, Middletown, Newburgh and Highland.

These insects can jump and fly only short distances, so how did they hopscotch their way across the state?

They’re hitchhikers.

Adults can hitch rides in vehicles or on any outdoor item, and they can cling to clothing or hats. They can lay their eggs on vehicles, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood.

You should thoroughly inspect vehicles, luggage, gear and all outdoor items for egg masses and adults.

What to look for

The adults are easy to spot. They’re an inch long and brightly colored. See another photo here. Adults are active from July to December.

They begin laying eggs in September, so you can look for the egg masses now, too.

If you think you see a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass, take a photo and report it. Instructions on how to make the report are on the righthand sidebar on this page.

See more information on spotted lanternfly here.

2 Comments on “Save the grapes & other crops from spotted lanternflies in WNY

  1. Hi Nicky, I am so sorry the situation with spotted lanternflies is so bad in your area. We hope we can slow down or stop them here in Western New York.

  2. I have a grape vines in my backyard And I’ve been killing them all summer long they’re a nuisance. I’ve seen a Million of them in gerritsen beach area Brooklyn. Too many to kill. Lol.

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