The spotted lanternfly is currently not found in North Carolina.
The spotted lanternfly is a pest that was introduced to the US from Asia and was first found in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted lanternfly is unlikely to feed on Christmas trees, but they can lay their eggs on the trunks and branches of Christmas trees. In the fall, they may also shelter in Christmas trees when the weather is cold. The presence of a living or dead adult, or egg cases in cut Christmas trees, would stop their shipment to states and counties where the pest is not currently found.
Though this pest is not currently found in North Carolina, NC Christmas tree growers should still be proactive in combating this potential pest. Everyone working around Christmas trees should learn how to recognize spotted lanternfly, and tell authorities if it is found. In addition, North Carolina Christmas tree growers can reduce the likelihood that spotted lanternfly will be found in their trees by reducing or eliminating the pest’s primary tree host, the tree-of-heaven, from around their farms.
Online Information – North Carolina
NC State University Resource Page on Spotted Lanternfly – NC State Extension Gardener information on spotted lanternfly including links to information at Penn State and other Universities
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pest Watch for Spotted Lanternfly – good two-page fact sheet to post at your farm
NC Forest Service Forest Health Notes on Spotted Lanternfly – good summary on identification and control of spotted lanternfly
Other Online Information:
Cornell University: Introduction, Native Range, and Current US Range – of the spotted lanternfly
Penn State Extension: Spotted Lanternfly – including training for permits
Penn State Extension: Tree-of-Heaven – how to recognize and control tree-of-heaven