Center Supports Fight Against Spotted Lanternfly

Since the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) was first confirmed in the U.S. in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014, it has continued to hop and hitchhike its way into headlines and gain widespread recognition.

The pest, native to Asia, has no significant natural enemies in the U.S. Given that and its penchant for spreading with unwitting human assistance, what started as a local problem quickly became a state and then regional one, and may yet become a national concern.

As SLF spread, it became a prime candidate for the kind of regionally coordinated response the Northeastern IPM Center is uniquely positioned to spearhead.

In 2018, through the Partnership Grants Program, the Center funded a Penn State-led SLF working group. The Center led the country in supporting a collaborative effort to address this emerging threat, also hosting a series of webinars in 2018 and 2019.

The working group leveraged the initial support to successfully make the case for a $7.3 million Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture—a significant achievement and recognition of the importance of this work.

Deborah Grantham, Center director, is a co-director of the SCRI project and the Center is the Cornell lead. One key project deliverable has been the StopSLF website (, developed and maintained by the Center and intended to be a central repository of SLF information, including news, quarantine/reporting protocols, research, and emerging management methods.

Of particular interest to the public is the distribution map (, regularly updated by the New York State IPM Program and hosted on

Work is ongoing to limit the spread of SLF and the agricultural havoc it can wreak. It remains a top priority for the Center to continue coordinating the response throughout the region and beyond by bringing together academics and government agencies, supporting research and extension, and creating, sharing, and amplifying regionally relevant news and information.

The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source (“From Northeast IPM Insights”) along with a link to our website.