Spotted lanternflies are invasive pests that infest, and ultimately harm, trees and other plants and make them more susceptible to disease. Over time, this can damage natural landscapes and impact the native species that depend on them.
These insects are easily identified by their red bodies and black-and-white polka-dotted wings and tend to jump more than they fly. They are often found attached to the trunks of trees—in particular, the tree of heaven (a.k.a. Ailanthus altissima), the lanternflies’ preferred host and key to their reproduction.
If you happen to come across one of these invasive pests in the Park, please squash and dispose of it in the nearest trash can. While the City prohibits killing wildlife, this is a one-time exception given the severe damage an infestation can cause. For more information, please refer to NYC Parks’ guidelines.