DOVER, Del. — The spotted lanternfly, a destructive, invasive plant hopper, has been confirmed in New Castle County, Delaware, and in New York state.
“We have collected one spotted lanternfly female and don’t know if this is a hitchhiker or an indicator of a population attempting to establish in Delaware,” said Faith Kuehn, administrator of the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries Section.
“Over the winter months we will be conducting an intensive survey around the detection location, searching for egg masses,” Kuehn said. “We will also be reaching out to homeowners, businesses and communities to help identify this pest.
“Our goal is to keep this insect out of Delaware and away from our agricultural crops,” she said.
In New York, the Department of Agriculture & Markets confirmed the presence of spotted lanternfly after employees at a facility in Delaware County reported the finding last month.
It is thought to have arrived in New York on an interstate shipment. The single specimen was dead when it was discovered.
The spotted lanternfly, which is native to Asia, was first detected in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. Currently, 13 counties in Pennsylvania are under quarantine.