Officials Have Spotted the Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly has been found encroaching upon more US cities. The pest, which is an inch long with black, red, and white spots, is native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. While it is not dangerous to humans, the pest has been known to attack twenty five different plant species, including grapes, apples, pines, and stone fruits. Quarantines have been put into effect in cities and towns where the pest has been seen. The quarantine prohibits the movement of any material known to spread the pest, including “firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, packing material like boxes, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household articles like lawnmowers, grills, tarps and other equipment, trucks or vehicles typically not stored indoors.” The population of the insect is not high yet, and officials hope to eradicate it before it spreads any further.
Officials advise people to do a quick inspection of their vehicle when moving in or near a quarantine area. Citizens are advised to collect any eggs they spot on trees or other outdoor surfaces and place them in the garbage or a plastic bag with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Citizens who collect specimens are advised to place the sample in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak-proof container and turn it in to the local authorities. People are being told not to move the specimens within or out of quarantine areas.
Have you spotted a spotted lanternfly?