Don’t be confused by Spotted Lanternfly lookalikes this fall…
The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a pesky invasive pest that feeds on lots of important plants, such as apple trees, birch trees and hops vines. As we continue to find Lanternflies in more and more places, it’s more important than ever for people to be on the lookout for these invasive insects! Since SLF spreads primarily through human activity, YOU can really make a difference!
When you’re keeping a watchful eye, know that SLF can be confused with other common insects you might spot flying around this fall. This time of year, the eastern boxelder bug or even gypsy moth eggs may catch your eye.
Both the Eastern Boxelder Bug and Milkweed Bug have black and red markings similar to those of an invasive spotted lanternfly nymph, but the elongated body and red eyes of the both bugs help to set them apart from Lanternflies. You might find eastern boxelder bugs lounging in sunny spots or even in your home, but don’t worry. Unlike the Spotted Lanternfly, they’re completely harmless.
With high rates of gypsy moth infestation this year, you’re more likely to see their eggs than SLF eggs but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the lookout. If you find an egg mass remember, spotted lanternfly eggs look a bit like mud that has dried and cracked. You can find SLF eggs just about anywhere including on firewood, trees, or even cars. Gypsy moth eggs, on the other hand, are lighter in color and fuzzy in texture. You’ll spot gypsy moth eggs on trees, firewood, or piles of rocks, but not on household items like SLF egg masses.