Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses Intercepted in California

CAWG applauds the strategic planning undertaken by UDSA APHIS and CDFA in implementing preventative measures aimed at mitigating the spread of SLF


SACRAMENTO — The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) is bringing attention to the discovery of recent Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) egg masses on a shipment originating from New York and destined for Sonoma County. The egg masses were intercepted at the Truckee Border Protection Station in late March. This is the first finding of SLF egg masses in California.

CAWG is highlighting this now, because if other SLF egg masses have arrived in California undetected, they may produce adult SLFs in the coming weeks, with peak populations expected in late summer or early fall. SLF has the potential to affect the entire winegrape industry.

“This is essentially a public service announcement to raise awareness of how to identify a spotted lanternfly and the immediate action to take if discovered,” said Natalie Collins, President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. “Spotted lanternflies have been found in 18 states and have proven to pose a serious threat to vineyards. These invasive insects feed on the sap of grapevines, while also leaving behind a sticky honeydew residue on the clusters and leaves. Their activities stress the plants, decrease vine health, and in some cases, can lead to plant death.”

CAWG applauds the strategic planning undertaken by UDSA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in implementing preventative measures aimed at mitigating the spread of SLF. Additionally, CAWG commends CDFA’s inspection station teams for their diligent efforts in inspecting loads entering the state and the Pierce’s Disease Control Program for their research and mitigation of invasive pests, including the SLF.

Adult SLFs are typically visible from July through November and have the ability to fly, although not very far. The one-inch-long adults look quite different at rest than they do while flying. At rest, with their wings folded, they are a dull tan-gray color with black spots. During flight, the adult’s open wings reveal a bright red, black, and white pattern.

The SLF is an invasive planthopper native to Asia, first discovered in southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and has quickly spread to neighboring states. SLFs are described as “hitchhikers” as the egg masses can look like cakes of mud and are transported on trailers, RVs, semi-trucks, containers, trains, and other forms of shipping and transportation. Egg masses hatch in May/June and the adult SLFs are visible soon thereafter.

SLF Egg Masses Intercepted in California:

Below are the details of the SLF egg masses that were intercepted at the Truckee Border Protection Station:

  • Egg masses were intercepted off a large (30 ft tall) metal art installation on March 27, 2024. The station staff inspected and found 11 viable egg masses on the artwork, resulting in the shipment being rejected at the station and refused entry into CA once the pest identification was confirmed by the CDFA lab staff.
  • The rejected shipment was then returned to Nevada where officials further inspected the artwork off the truck and found an additional 30 egg masses in areas that were not accessible to station staff. Nevada officials also supervised the hot water power washing with detergent of the artwork.
  • The shipment was later returned to the Truckee station for reinspection and was released to its destination under a Warning Hold Notice to allow for further inspection by county staff.
  • Sonoma County staff inspected the shipment on April 4, 2024. The owner of the sculpture accommodated the county’s request to open all hollow beams and use cranes to move pieces for a thorough inspection, and the county staff found an additional three egg masses. The county staff concluded the inspection only after they were confident that no more egg masses were remaining.


  • If a SLF is found in California, reporting is easy at (800) 491-1899 or www.CDFA.CA.GOV/Plant/ReportAPest
  • The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) says, “Snag it. Snap it. Report it.” For more information: CDFA – Plant Health – PDEPSpotted Lanternfly Pest Information (
  • The Pierce’s Disease / Glassy Winged Sharpshooter Board within CDFA has designated the SLF as a pest to vineyards. The PD/GWSS website contains valuable information on how to detect the SLF and the efforts underway to keep the SLF out of California. For more information:
  • Penn State Extension has information on its website relative to how Pennsylvania grape growers are dealing with SLFs in their vineyards.


About the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG): CAWG is a statewide nonprofit trade association advocating for California’s winegrape growers to ensure the sustainability of the winegrape industry. CAWG promotes the industry’s long-term success by advancing the adoption of sound public policies and fostering awareness and understanding of winegrape growers’ contributions to the economy, environment, and California communities. Learn more at
–California Association of Winegrape Growers

(Photo: Magi Kern on Unsplash)

Original article link courtesy of Morning Ag Clips.