On alert for Gypsy Moths? Emerald Ash Borers? Add Spotted Lanternflies to the list of invasive species that could wreak havoc on local crops and plants if left unchecked.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDARD, is raising awareness of the insect. The spotted lanternfly has not yet been detected in Michigan, but residents are asked to be on the lookout as they are spreading rapidly across the nation since first being found in southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014.
The bugs cause trouble when they suck sap from host plants and secrete a large amount of honeydew, which is thick and sticky and prone to molding. The substance attracts hornets, wasps, and ants, which can have a detrimental effect on recreation and crop harvests. According to MDARD, grapes, stone fruits, and timber statewide could be negatively affected.
Pictures of lanternfly eggs (which look like old chewing gum), larvae, and adults can be found at Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly. If spotted lanternflies are found, residents are asked to contact MDARD.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland