Where I work, there is a rather large population of Spotted Lanternflies around our office building.


From what I've read, they are considered invasive species and quite a problem this year in Pennsylvania. However, I've only really noticed them outside the office building where I work.

What attracts Spotted Lanternflies? I thought maybe it was the large concrete and glass building that I work in - maybe some sort of chemical in the concrete structure that they can sense.

  • Hi Timmy Jim! I was curious if we had those in Massachusetts, which we do. As csk's awesome answer said, they were first spotted (stupid pun intended) in America in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have spread out from there. In case you're wondering, your picture is the side view of an adult male at rest, massnrc.org/pests/slfreport.aspx! Sep 30 '19 at 23:39

The favorite host tree of the Spotted Lanternfly is Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). There may be trees of heaven around your office building. However, spotted lanterflies aren't picky. They also like Almond trees, Grape vines, ​​​Peach trees, Apple trees​, Hickory trees, Pine trees, Apricot trees, ​Hops vines, Plum trees, Basil, Horseradish, Sycamore trees, Blueberry bushes, Maple trees, Walnut trees, Cherry trees, Nectarine trees, Willow trees, ​Cucumber plants ​and Oak trees. So it's probably not because they're attracted to any particular plant species. Spotted lanternflys reproduce prolifically wherever they are.

The reason you're noticing spotted lanternflies near your office, and not other places, is because they got to your office first.

If the other places you go don't have spotted lanternflies, you could be at risk of spreading them to those other places. Lanternflies will lay eggs on a car or other vehicle. Please take precautions. The PA Dept of Agriculture has some great resources on the topic.

The spotted lanterfly invasion is relatively new, and it's a big threat to agriculture. They were first found in the US in 2014, near Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is working hard to stop it from spreading. They're now also in Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, and possibly other states that I'm not aware of. The respective state departments of agriculture are all working on containing and eradicating them. (If anyone knows of other states I should add to the list, please comment below.) You can help by:

  • Report this infestation.

    • In Pennsylvania, report it through this form on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website.
    • In Maryland, inform the Maryland Department of Agriculture at (410) 841-5920 or DontBug.MD@maryland.gov.
    • In Delaware, take a geotagged photograph and upload your photograph to Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #HitchHikerBug, or send an email to HitchHikerBug@delaware.gov, or call (302) 698-4632.
    • In Massachusetts, report through this online form.

    If you see spotted lanternflies outside the current quarantine zone, it's a big deal. Report them to your state department of agriculture immediately.

  • Look at this quarantine zone map to figure out if your daily commute takes you from inside the quarantine zone to outside the quarantine zone.

  • Inspect your vehicle for spotted lanternfly eggmasses before leaving the quarantine zone. Destroy any eggmasses before leaving. If that seems like too much effort (and it is a lot of work; I understand that) consider all the crops that could be destroyed by spotted lanternflies. How much more expensive will foods like blueberries, apples, cherries and grapes (and wine) be if those crops are wiped out in Pennsylvania? What if those crops were wiped out throughout the northeast and midwest?
  • Monitor your own property for spotted lanternflies. If you find them, report them and eradicate them.

Additional resources:

  • csk, this is an excellent example of how to write a great answer!! You gave even more information than Timmy Jim specifically asked for, and formatted it in an organized and legible way. The links are important for us to get even more context and education! Sep 30 '19 at 22:56
  • Darn. They're spreading further and faster than I realized. Thanks for the info, I'll add it to my answer. I had hoped that the USDA website would provide a comprehensive map, but they don't.
    – csk
    Oct 1 '19 at 17:52
  • Hi! I hope you don't think I meant your answer was incomplete! I just wondered if they were around me! Since you added Massachusetts info to your answer, I deleted my comment. I'll delete this too once you've had a chance to see it, because it won't be necessary! Oct 2 '19 at 3:33

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