The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has indicated that Spotted Lanternflies, technically referred to as Lycorma Delicatula, and commonly referred to as "SLF," have been detected in Connecticut. Established populations were detected in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and single individuals have been confirmed in other towns in CT. The public can see a map of towns and cities in CT, including Norwalk, that have established Spotted Lanternfly populations here.
The CAES noted that a Spotted Lanternfly is a new plant pest in the United States that threatens Connecticut's environment, residential areas, and agricultural interests, particularly forests, orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. They would like the public's help identifying, reporting and ultimately stopping the spread of Spotted Lanternflies.
What do Lanternflies look like?
According to the CAES, Adult Spotted Lanternflies are approximately one inch long by one-half inch wide. The bugs show tan forewings with black spots when their wings are closed. When their wings are open, the bugs show their signature colorful hindwings with lower red patches and upper black patches, separated by a white section. The bugs can crawl, jump and fly short distances. You can see the images below shared by the CAES.
Why is it so important to stop a Spotted Lanternfly invasion?
Spotted Lanternflies have the potential to severely impact Connecticut's agricultural crops, particularly apples, grapes, hops, and ornamental trees, according to the CAES. Their preferred host is Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as a Tree-of-Heaven, abundant along highways, urban areas, and along the edges of agricultural and industrial areas. Below are images of what an Ailanthus altissima, Tree-of-Heaven, looks like, shared by the CAES, and what they look like when the Spotted Lanternflies are on them.