New Confirmed Massachusetts Sightings of Spotted Lanternfly
Massachusetts has new confirmed sightings of the invasive insect known as the spotted lanternfly.
The spotted lanternfly was first detected in the United States in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. DontMoveFirewod.org says, "New detections of spotted lanternfly individuals and breeding populations have been found across the Mid-Atlantic states."
The bugs are also in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has compiled a map of reported sightings of spotted lanternflies on its website.
"The spotted lanternfly is a planthopper from Asia, found in countries ranging from China, Korea, and Vietnam to India," DontMoveFirewood.org reports.
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources told television station WWLP-22 in Springfield the insect targets grapevines, hops and fruit trees. It feeds on sap and can damage or kill over 100 types of plants.
The MDAR confirmed the presence of spotted lanternflies in Springfield during the recent October warm weather spell. The insect was found previously in Springfield, Holyoke and Worcester.
I first learned of the spotted lanternfly during a recent visit to northern Virginia to visit my son. Zach said the insect, which swarms, especially during mating season, has been a problem there for several years.
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources encourages anyone who comes across a spotted lanternfly or what they suspect is an egg mass to take a photo and report it to MDAR online or by emailing email@example.com.
DontMoveFirewood.org says, "Lanterflies lay egg masses on smooth bark, including on willow, maple, poplar, sycamore, and such fruit trees as plum, cherry, and peach."
However, "possible egg sites include vehicles, campers, yard furniture, farm equipment, or other items stored outside, or even masonry walls," the site reports.
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