As spotted lanternfly infestation looms, MDARD calls for vigilance in reporting and prevention


The spotted lanternfly is a threat and has the potential to destroy Michigan staples like apples and hardwoods. But it’s not picky. It feeds on over 70 different species and an infestation could be devastating to the state’s agricultural economy.

Robert Miller of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division said, “Our agricultural and natural resources are part of Michigan’s identity, and the Mottled Lantern has the potential to forever change this landscape.

The pest has spread rapidly through the northeastern United States, and dead lanterns have been found in packing materials in Michigan. So far, MDARD has found none alive.

Miller said, “With the current rate of spread, it’s possible the spotted lanternfly could reach Michigan at any time.”

If you encounter the feared pest, notify MDARD immediately. Citizen awareness and reporting are essential to contain the impending arrival of the invasive pest.


From late summer to the first hard frost, Mottled Lanterns are in the adult stage and the easiest to identify. Adults are about an inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hindwings with black spots turning into black and white bands on the edge.

The female Mottled Lantern lays egg masses in the fall that look like old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating. Egg masses can survive winter temperatures to hatch in the spring. Hatched eggs appear as brownish seed-like deposits. Juveniles of the spotted lantern are wingless and are black with white spots, developing red spots in the final juvenile stage

If you find a juvenile or adult spotted lantern egg mass, take one or more photos, record the date, time and location of the sighting, and report it to MDARD by email at [email protected] or by calling 800-292-3939. If possible, take a specimen from a container for verification.

Before travelling, consult the map of confirmed spotted lantern locations. For more information on identifying or reporting, visit

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland


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