Is the spotted lanternfly harmful to humans?

The Spotted Lanternfly does not pose a threat to people. Although they cannot sting or bite, they can be extremely harmful to many types of plants, trees, and crops. By excreting a gooey fluid that promotes the formation of black sooty mold, they can also ruin your yard. Although the mold is harmful to humans, it can damage attractive plants and trees. This form of mold can also be brought on by other insect species, thus it’s critical to accurately pinpoint its origins because different pests require different types of preventative measures.

A stone shipment in 2012 is thought to have carried a Chinese invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly from China to the United States. Two years after the first infestation was found in Pennsylvania, the lanternfly has since spread to 11 additional states, eating its way through forests, vineyards, and fruit orchards.

Because there are no local predators to control their population, lanternflies cause as much harm as the sponge moth, emerald ash borer, and other foreign species.


The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a sort of “true bug” that feeds by piercing plant tissue with a stylet (or beak). The adult SLF’s distinctive colors include spotted patterning, red underwings, yellow markings on the abdomen, and tan semi-transparent forewings. Adults are roughly an inch long and are active from late July to late November. The nymph stage manifests in June and July, with startlingly vivid red and black bodies that are speckled with white. Nymphs in their early stages lack the red pigment and are entirely black in color.

If you suspect you found a spotted lanternfly

To safeguard the plants and woods of Rhode Island, early detection is essential. Learn how to distinguish between the egg, nymph, and adult life stages of the spotted lanternfly to aid in its prevention. Take a picture and make an effort to gather a specimen if you believe you have discovered a spotted lanternfly. Then,  submit a pest alert form to RI DEM with this discovery.

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Bonus Blog Article

Why are Cockroaches So Hard to Control?

Cockroaches… the mere thought of them sends a shiver down most people’s spines. They get into food storage, reproduce at lightning speeds, and are really fast movers. It’s been said that cockroaches will survive Armageddon and anyone who has had to deal with a cockroach infestation wouldn’t doubt that. These critters have been around for millions of years, even outliving the dinosaurs. They are a resilient insect that has adapted to the ever-changing environment of the Earth.

SEE ALSO: 7 Tips to Keep Your Home Cockroach Free →

So what is the secret to their survival and what makes them so unique to other pests? Why is it so hard to control the cockroach population?

1. Cockroaches are lightning fast

Have you ever turned on the kitchen light and seen how fast cockroaches bolt into hiding? Or maybe you tried to hit one with a shoe but it was just too fast for you. Cockroaches can sense currents of air and use this for detecting any threat that is approaching them. It’s been reported that a cockroach can hit the ground running a mere 8 milliseconds from the time they feel a puff of air. They can hit 80 centimeters a second and reach three miles in about an hour. They also have the ability to switch directions at the drop of a hat.

Did you know: A newborn cockroach, the size of a speck of dust, can run nearly as fast as an adult?

2. Cockroaches are super resilient

As mentioned earlier, cockroaches have been around for a very long time. There are some cockroach species that can endure freezing cold temperatures. If a cockroach loses its head it can still continue to function for a week. This is because cockroaches have an open circulatory system, meaning they have no veins and their organs are all housed within the body cavity. This also means that they don’t bleed out when wounded.

Did you know: A cockroach breathes from spiracles found on the sides of their bodies and can hold its breath for about 40 minutes.

3. Cockroaches are small

At two in the morning, an encounter with a cockroach may be seen as having come face to face with a massive bug. However, most cockroaches run as small at 5/8 of an inch up to 2 inches. Because of their nimble size, they are able to hide in any crevices or cracks available to them.

Did you know: The male of the species has been known to be able to squeeze into a crack as small as 1/16 of an inch (the thickness, in width, of a quarter?)

4. Cockroaches will eat anything

Cockroaches are true scavengers. They favor sugary stuff when they can get it though. Being omnivores, they are attracted to a variety of food. A typical cockroach can survive without feeding for nearly a month. They can also go about 2 weeks without water. This is another reason for their resilience. They have been known to eat things like glue, leather, and even soap to survive.

Did you know: When in nature the cockroach helps consume organic waste?

5. Cockroaches are fast breeders

A mother cockroach produces eggs that are protected in a capsule of her own making. One female cockroach can have from 6 to 40 eggs per capsule and can produce many capsules through its lifespan. Depending on the conditions of their habitat, a cockroach can take from 6 weeks to a couple of years to become an adult.

Did you know: One female cockroach, along with her many offspring, can have up to 30,000 babies in just a year.

It’s important to eliminate cockroaches from the home because they can pose health risks to people. They spread disease and can trigger allergic reactions in some, which can complicate things for those who have asthma.

Cockroaches are attracted to food and water and will overrun your home looking for these things. So it’s important to keep food and water sources sealed. If you have pets, don’t leave bowls of food out unless your beloved pet is actually using them. Use air-tight containers for storing foods that would otherwise sit in bags in your cupboards, such as flours, rice, and cereals. Make sure you keep your countertops and sink clean and clear of food and crumbs. Dispose of garbage right away and vacuum often. By practicing some good sanitation you can lessen the chance of a cockroach infestation happening in your home.

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