A species of insect that has been spotted across the country might be captivating for its beauty, but government officials are asking ordinary Americans to kill the bugs if they see them, and then to report their presence to wildlife officials.
The spotted lanternfly is an interesting-looking bug, but is a danger to ecosystems outside of China, India and Vietnam. In recent years, it has worried officials on the East Coast amid a campaign to purge the crop-consuming bug from the continent.
But then one was spotted in Kansas, and now agencies across the country are on high alert.
While the invasive spotted lanternfly has been wreaking havoc on the East Coast, officials in Kansas were shocked to find one pinned on a student display at the state fair. https://t.co/7zHe013MDH
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 13, 2021
These interesting creatures are both a nuisance and a threat to some plants and trees, according to public officials. They’re currently creating headaches in Japan. Officials across the U.S. are hoping to avoid a similar situation, so they’re asking anyone who might come into contact with one to kill it immediately.
The spotted lanternfly, a beautiful but devastating species indigenous to parts of Asia, is spreading across the country despite the best efforts from experts. https://t.co/Jjh80FM3mN
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) September 19, 2021
📰 This #BadBug has been running all over town.
Name: Spotted Lanternfly
Description: Suspect appears to be an adult, approximately 1″ long and 1/2″ wide at rest, grey in color with contrasting red and black wings with black spots. pic.twitter.com/UnQ9ymgNJm
— PA Department of Agriculture (@PAAgriculture) September 17, 2021
WANTED‼️ The infamous spotted lanternfly. These bad bugs feed on over 70+ types of ag products and crops. They are currently in their adult life stage. More info: https://t.co/h6TcJNeT3P
— Maryland Agriculture (@MdAgDept) September 21, 2021
Have no fear, you are a civic hero! Spotted lanternflies are a threat to our city’s forests. NYC, be like Sara! If you see a spotted lanternfly, squish it, dispose of it, and report it to us at https://t.co/LpuGFh97La. https://t.co/DppTLvGQAm
— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) September 14, 2021
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is asking the public to watch out for the spotted lanternfly — an invasive insect with ability to “damage or kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants.” It has not yet been detected in MI. https://t.co/zBY74mw8Rh
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) September 15, 2021
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has uncovered a population of the invasive species Spotted Lanternfly on Cleveland’s East Side. The insects cause significant issues for the grape and wine industry. https://t.co/nWIGZwtmoJ
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) September 3, 2021
Earlier this summer, a photograph of a spotted lanternfly taken in southern Indiana set off a huge effort to eradicate the insect that’s on the federally regulated invasive species list.https://t.co/2BZcVMjQiC
— WFIU News (@WFIUNews) September 20, 2021
“The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. Spotted lanternfly feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts,” the department said.
“Spotted lanternflies are invasive and can be spread long distances by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses. If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries,” the advisory added.
The department added that almonds, apples, apricots, cherries and grapes, among other fruits and nuts, are at risk. Additionally, maple, oak, pine, poplar, walnut and willow trees are vulnerable to the insects.
Officials at the department are asking people to inspect trees, bricks, stones and other smooth surfaces where these insects lay eggs.
For a full list of common targets for the spotted lanternfly, visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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