Once a Pennsylvania Pest, Spotted Lanternflies Infiltrate Canada

Image via iStock.

Canada is sounding the alarm on spotted lanternflies, that invasive species whose annual appearance in the Philadelphia area is met with a mix of environmental concern and public weariness. The Canadian finding was announced in a staff report from The Sudbury Star, an Ontario publication.

Spotted lanternflies “threatens many of our native tree species, including maples, poplars, pines, and cherries. Grapevines are also susceptible to this pest,” said Ontario Parks, a branch of Canada’s Ministry of Environment.

While the insects have not previously been spotted in Canada, they have been wreaking havoc in many states throughout the United States for years, including Pennsylvania.

In addition, Tree of Heaven, an invasive tree native to China, has been adding to the bugs’ proliferation.

The plant was originally introduced to North America at the end of the 18th Century in the Philadelphia area. Since then, the species has spread across Ontario.

Tree of Heaven is the primary host species for spotted lanternflies. It may have contributed to them showing up in northern New York State, migrating from the Canadian province.

“Tree of Heaven grows rapidly,” warned Ontario Parks. “It can become very large, and can reach heights of over 21 meters tall [nearly 70 feet]. It is able to produce suckers from its base, so it often appears to be the size of a small to medium-sized shrub.”

Read more about spotted lanternflies in The Sudbury Star.


The CBC takes a look at the spotted lanternfly jump across the border into Canada.

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