BOSTON (CBS) — State agricultural officials are urging Massachusetts residents to keep an eye out for an invasive pest. Two dead spotted lanternflies have been found in Milford and Norwood.
The insects arrived in the state on materials shipped from Pennsylvania counties that are under a “spotted lanternfly quarantine.” The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources said nursery stock with lanternflies and their eggs “may have been unintentionally imported and planted in several parts” of the state.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are all known to have spotted lanternflies. Anyone in Massachusetts receiving plants, landscaping materials or outdoor furniture is asked to check carefully for any bugs.
The large, gray lanternfly is about an inch long and has black spots and red underwings. The egg masses are also about an inch long and are yellowish-brown with a gray waxy coating.
After identifying two dead specimens of the spotted lanternfly in Massachusetts communities, @MassDeptAgr is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest.
🔗 Details: https://t.co/Kvh5kO6ZNU
— MAEnergy Environment (@MassEEA) September 25, 2020
Anyone who thinks they’ve found a lanternfly is asked to take a photo and submit it using MDAR’s online reporting form.
The sap-feeding insect is from Asia and has only been in the United States since 2014. MDAR said its main source of food is tree-of-heaven, but it also attacks many other trees, shrubs and vines. It can also impact the apple, peach, grape/wine and maple syrup crop.
A dead lanternfly was found around in Boston in 2018, but there still hasn’t been a live sighting of one.