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Spotted LanternFly

Protecting Wisconsin from the Spotted Lanternfly

The Waterford Bee Company is dedicated to safeguarding the natural beauty and agricultural bounty of Wisconsin. Today, we face a new challenge: the invasion of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), an invasive insect species that poses a significant threat to our state's natural environment and agricultures, including emerging crops like hops and grapes.


What is the Spotted Lanternfly?

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive pest from Asia that has found its way to the United States. This pest not only threatens our agricultural health but also disrupts natural ecosystems by damaging plants through their feeding process.

Danger to Wisconsin's Agriculture

SLF poses a serious threat to agriculture, particularly to crops such as hops and grapes, crucial to Wisconsin's brewing and winemaking industries. These insects feed on the sap of plants, weakening them and making them more susceptible to disease and other pests. Their presence can lead to reduced yields and potentially devastate these vital sectors.

Preferred Host Plants

The Spotted Lanternfly has a wide range of host plants, significantly preferring the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), a common invasive species itself. However, it doesn't stop there. SLF is known to target over 70 plant species, including native trees, friut trees, and important crops:

  • Fruit Trees: Apple, Peach, Plum, Cherry

  • Hardwoods: Oak, Walnut, Pine, Maple

  • Vineyards: Grapevines

  • Cash Crops: Hops

These preferences make the SLF particularly dangerous to a broad spectrum of Wisconsin's agricultural and natural landscapes.


How to Identify the Spotted Lanternfly

Identifying and reporting sightings of the SLF is crucial to controlling its spread. Look out for the following characteristics:

  • Nymph Stage: Initially black with white spots, transitioning to red with black and white spots.

  • Adult Stage: Adults have grey wings with black spots. When open, their wings reveal a striking red underwing.

  • Egg Masses: Resemble patches of mud on tree bark and other surfaces, often laid on the preferred host plants.

Watch this video from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to learn more:

Who to Contact

If you believe you've spotted a Spotted Lanternfly or its egg masses, please report it immediately to the Wisconsin Department Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protections (DATCP) or your local cooperative extension service. Early detection and reporting are crucial in controlling the spread of this invasive species.

What You Can Do

  • Be Vigilant: Regularly inspect your trees, plants, and any outdoor equipment for SLF and egg masses, especially if you have any of their preferred host plants.

  • Educate Others: Share this information with neighbors and community members about the SLF and how to identify it.

  • Report Sightings: Use the contact information provided to report any potential sightings to authorities.


Together, We Can Protect Wisconsin

The Waterford Bee Company is committed to the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly. By staying informed, vigilant, and proactive, we can protect our state's agricultural heritage and natural landscapes. Join us in this crucial effort to safeguard Wisconsin's crops and ecosystems.

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