Spotted Lanternfly has Been Found in SWNY- Report Them to Help Slow the Outbreak

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

July 12, 2022

Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive pest that has a huge appetite for grape vines, fruit trees, maple trees, and other plants, has been sighted in WNY. While there have been two sightings, one in Buffalo (Erie County) last year and one most recently in West Seneca (Erie County), the spot of good news is that these insects were isolated sightings, and only adults have been found. Furthermore, the West Seneca spotting was a skeletonized adult, meaning that it had been there since last year. It is thought that both insects were transported into the region via inanimate objects (cars, building materials), due to the isolation of the insects and the fact that they were adults.

Based on how quickly the bug has spread since its introduction in 2014, and because SWNY is relatively close to outbreak regions in NY and PA, we know that at some point, it will make its way into our region. However, we may be able to delay the spread until we have the tools developed that can decrease the huge agronomic losses it causes. While the two cases that were identified in SWNY were deemed isolated, it is not guaranteed that the next sighting will be. We all need to be vigilant to help identify where this pest is moving.

If you think that you've found a Spotted Lanternfly in any life stage, take a photograph, which will allow the NYS Department of Ag and Markets to confirm an ID. Next, kill the insect (by freezing is best if you can manage it), and bring it to someone who will ID it and report it to Ag and Markets. Your local CCE office can help with this.


The life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly are pictured above. In July, we expect to see the third instar (a black bug with white spots) moving into the fourth instar (a pink bug with white and black spots). Click to enlarge.



To date, Spotted Lanternfly outbreaks are mostly in PA and NJ, but there are outbreak zones close to Western NY, including in Tompkins County and Chemung County. Sightings have been identified in various counties across WNY. Click to enlarge.



Spotted Lanternfly Resources:

This fact sheet gives an overview of the life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly to aid in identification:


Current Distribution Map and the SLF Reporting Portal link can be found here:



Original article by Amy Barkley, July 12th, 2022 - Updated on July 19th, 2022.


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