Invasive Spotted Lanternflies Spread Across Maryland, Expert Warns of Escalating Issue


The invasive spotted lanternflies are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout Maryland, and an expert predicts the situation will only exacerbate.

Having hatched in May, these insects have now reached full maturity, becoming more conspicuous as they engage in feeding, mating, and migration.

University of Maryland entomologist, also known as "The Bug Guy," Michael Raupp, is well-versed in this phenomenon.

"While the adults are visually striking and about this size, they will engage in feeding, secreting honeydew, which creates significant mess in the landscape. Subsequently, they will mate, and the females will disperse," Raupp explained.

These female lanternflies are embarking on journeys in pursuit of new habitats to establish their own colonies.

However, these insects aren't particularly agile. According to Raupp, as they travel, they often collide with walls, windows, and poles, resulting in their demise.

This pattern is anticipated to persist and escalate from now until late October.

There is a silver lining – a severe freeze will eliminate the adult lanternflies. Nonetheless, there's also a downside – the eggs will endure the winter. Raupp warns that this means the invasion will recommence its cycle once again in 2024.