Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia
2022 Citizen Scientist Detection Program for Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia
The pilot program for the Citizen Scientist Detection Program for Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia began in 2018, soon after Spotted Lanternfly was first detected in Winchester, Virginia. Virginia Cooperative Extension envisioned a program where people who owned property with Ailanthus (also known as tree-of-Heaven) in northern Virginia could help determine where spotted lanternfly was found and where it hadn’t arrived yet. Since then, Spotted Lanternfly has spread into broader areas of Virginia and we are expanding the Citizen Scientist Detection Program accordingly in 2022. Participants in our Citizen Scientist Detection Program use Circle traps on Ailanthus trees on their personally-owned property to trap Spotted Lanternfly. In particular, we’d like to have participants working in counties or localities surrounding the known infested areas to determine the leading edge of the spread of this pest.
If you volunteer to participate this year, you’ll be helping Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services detect and monitor populations of Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia. Data collected by participants are used to create maps that delineate Spotted Lanternfly populations. When detected, small “hot spots” of Spotted Lanternfly activity can be targeted for treatment if feasible. In addition, Virginia Cooperative Extension will be better prepared in directing educational programming for homeowners and businesses in areas where Spotted Lanternfly is found.
Our Citizen Scientist Detection Program training modules have been updated for 2022 with expanded maps, use of modified Circle traps, and better instructions on how to use the Survey123 Spotted Lanternfly app on your smartphone. These modules are available for anyone interested in Spotted Lanternfly, including how to identify it in all of its life stages, what its life history is, and how to control it. While we hope you will join us and participate in the 2022 Citizen Scientist Detection Program, participation in the program is not mandatory to access these videos.