The Spotted Lanternfly is native to China, India, and Vietnam. It can live almost anywhere, but is most commonly seen on trees. This insect is spread when it lays eggs on any vertical surface such as smooth bark or stone, and then it is transported.
The species was first recorded in the U.S. in September 2014 and reported in Virginia in January 2018. It spread when it layed eggs on vertical surfaces which were then unknowingly transported to different areas.
This species is considered a pest. It threatens crops such as grapes and peaches as well as pine, oak, walnut, and maple trees.
Virginia Cooperative Extension is working to control the population of Spotted Lanternflies in Virginia, because they are so harmful to other species. They have instructed residents to contact them if they see a Spotted Lanternfly.