Computer Model Predicts Spread of Spotted Lanternfly

An analysis by North Carolina State University researchers predicts that the invasive spotted lanternfly could reach the wine-growing region of California in five years, and could be established throughout much of the United States by 2037 if all efforts to control it are stopped. The invasive insect can damage or destroy commercially valuable crops such as grapes, apples, almonds, walnuts, cherries, hops, and peaches, as well as certain trees. It kills plants by directly feeding on them, and can also damage them by leaving behind a residue known as “honeydew” that helps mold grow. Both Washington and California have been identified as areas with climates that are highly suitable for the spotted lanternfly.