Keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly.

by | Jul 12, 2023

Since finding spotted lanternfly at a site in Kernersville in 2022, the Plant Industry Division has asked residents to be on the look out for this invasive and destructive pest. Residents who think they may have seen spotted lanternfly in their area are asked to take a photo of the bug, squash it and report it.


  • Summertime is when people like to take vacations and travel. I know my family enjoys a week at the beach and Sharon and I like to get away to the mountains when we can.
  • But people might not know that some invasive and destructive pests like to use people’s travel plans as an opportunity to hitchhike to a new location.
  • That is especially true of the spotted lanternfly, which is a prevalent pest with established populations ranging up and down the East Coast from Massachusetts to Virginia and over to Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia.
  • In 2022, thanks to an observant resident, we found an established spotted lanternfly population in Kernersville in Forsyth County.
  • Our Plant Industry and N.C. Forest Service staff quickly mobilized on the site to treat and eradicate the population there and to survey the scope of the population.
  • The extent of the spread appeared to be contained within a 5-mile radius of the initial sighting.
  • We continue to monitor and treat the site. In fact, staff were there at the end of June.
  • When I tell you, we don’t want this pest to become established here, we don’t.
  • It poses a threat to many crops and trees, including grapes, apples, stone fruits, maples and black walnut to name a very few. The pest also secretes a sticky substance that leaves behind a black, moldy mess.
  • And, that’s why we are asking for the public’s help in watching for and reporting spotted lanternfly.
  • The more eyes we have watching for this pest, the more likely we are to find it quickly enough to take action.
  • The spotted lanternfly is known to lay its eggs on smooth surfaces such as cars, equipment and outdoor furniture.
  • If you are moving here from an area with high lanternfly populations, be sure to check those type of items before moving them.
  • The adults can hitchhike on vehicles as well, so remembering to look over your vehicle before leaving can be helpful, too.
  • If you believe you see a spotted lanternfly in North Carolina, please snap a photo of it, kill it and report it to our Plant Industry Division.
  • Taking a photo is important because it can help in positively identifying the bug.
  • Spotted lanternflies are transitioning into a stage where they are more easily identifiable because of their size and the distinctive markings on their wings.
  • That’s another reason we are asking residents to be alert in looking for them.
  • You can find out more information about the spotted lanternfly, including what to look for on our website at
  • We have a link on our home page that will take you to photos and other information and links.