Thursday 8th December 2022

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that creates severe economic losses in grapes, is threatening Missouri’s wine industry.

An expert says with more than 130 wineries in Missouri, this poses a significant threat to the state’s tourism economy.
SLF spreads when females lay eggs on the smooth metal surfaces of tractor-trailers, trains and other vehicles. Native to China, SLF was first seen in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is now established in at least five other states and detected as a hitchhiker in several other states.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture and other agencies are looking for this pest in areas where shipping and imported goods are common. They also are surveying places where preferred hosts grow, including vineyards, orchards and stands of the invasive tree-of-heaven.

The adult lanternflies are about an inch long with gray forewings and black spots. They are uniquely patterned and do not look similar to most of the state’s native insect species.

What to do if you spot lanternflies?
• Capture it if you can.
• Take a picture of it. Email to ricekev@missouri.edu. You can also report it to the Missouri Department of Agriculture at plantpest@mda.mo.gov.
• Collect a specimen and put it in a vial filled with alcohol to preserve it.
• Note where you found it and take it to your county extension center.

You can sign up for free pest alerts from MU Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program at ipm.missouri.edu/pestMonitoring.