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.