Contributed by SLELO Staff- Megan Pistolese & Brittney Rogers

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) or SLF is an invasive planthopper native to Asia that threatens significant economic losses to our tourism and agricultural industries.  SLF was likely introduced to the US as egg masses on a stone shipment from China, India, Vietnam or South Korea. The first infestation was discovered in 2014, in Berks County, Pennsylvania and has since spread to other states including DE, MD, NJ, VA & West VA. There are no known established populations in NY, but the individual findings of dead adults or egg masses have occurred in multiple counties within the state, including Oswego within our region, visit our website to access a map of confirmed SLF locations.

SLF lay eggs their eggs and hitchhike on practically anything so anyone traveling from areas with known infestations could easily introduce new populations to our region.  This opportunistic feeding and high spread potential of SLF is concerning to organizations across the state.  SLELO is collaborating with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a strategic outreach initiative; Spotted Lanternfly Spotters.

This new outreach strategy fosters a commitment among marinas, tackle/bait shops owners and charter fishing services to distribute outreach materials that convey a message to their customers who may be traveling from areas with SLF infestations to check and clean their equipment prior to traveling.

To help measure the success of this outreach strategy, distributed materials will have a trackable QR code that when scanned brings recipients of the materials to an online questionnaire.  Key questions asked include where the participant is traveling to and from, what type of equipment they are traveling with, and if they’re aware of SLF. Participants are also asked for their commitment to taking steps to prevent the spread of SLF. Any responses will provide SLELO and partners with a more informed understanding of the spread potential and the effectiveness of the strategy.

Considering the current circumstances in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, marinas and other target businesses are not currently operating, so the SLF Spotters initiative will begin later this spring. Stay tuned for more information and reach out to or if you have questions or comments.

Check out our e-newsletter for more invasive species related discussions.