The dread spotted lantern fly has been spotted in the neighborhood

I first heard about the spotted lantern fly when I was visiting my mother-in-law this spring in the leafy suburbs of Philly. At that time, they were all over — it was hard to take a step in the parking lot without stepping on one.

Then today I got two emails at the exact same time: one from A. and one from C. with sightings in several spots in the neighborhood. A. had identified them in the dog run next to the Downtown Community Center on Warren, and C. saw them in several places — 3 World Trade, and while eating in Fidi then a couple hours later he spotted another one on Water and Wall.

In short, these guys are bad news. They are an invasive species from Asia, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking residents to report them when the see them, and squash them if possible. They have beaks that suck sap directly from leaves and branches, and they then expel a sugar that then is prone to mold, which can affect fruits. Though they are quite good looking as bugs go.

They primarily feed on the tree of heaven but also go for grapevine, hops, maple, walnut and fruit trees. The worry is that the insect could impact the state’s forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries. First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, they have since expanded their reach to New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia — but they were not found in NYC until an infestation was discovered on Staten Island in 2020. In fact, there’s currently a quarantine on goods entering NY from those states to certify that they have been inspected for SLFs.

Cornell is tracking them on a map if you want to see where they are headed.

If you spot one, you should send the picture and the location to the DEC here:
Or you can report it online in a quick survey for the Department of Agriculture and Markets here.



  1. I saw one by 4 World Trade Monday and avoided stepping on it – I had no idea what it was! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I saw one on Leonard and W Broadway – it flew right at me! And I saw the red on its wings as it did. Also saw one at the dog run at the pier last weekend.

  3. This may not be related to the SLF but I am wondering if anyone knows why the tree (forget what kind) that was planted in front of the entrance to PS 234 maybe 17 years ago appears dead. It was planted in memory of Nick Silvestri, a beloved fifth grader who died in a tragic accident, and it flourished every year until now. (A memorial plaque is placed in front of it.). Additionally, the weeping cherry to the left of it also appears dead. I also want to thank the group that maintains these beautiful gardens.

  4. Wow – I saw one yesterday outside of Brookfield Place and had no idea what it was at the time. It was so different looking that I actually stopped and took notice. I just reported it. Good info TC!

  5. Saw one in the ground near the western union bldg- took a a picture then killed it. Will report ASAP!

  6. There are quite a few of them on the outside of my apartment at 40 Harrison St on the brick . They have been there for days now . I had no idea what they were .