SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A spotted lanternfly, an invasive species, was found in Springfield by a 22News viewer.
Diane Hamelin sent 22News a photo of what she believed was a spotted lanternfly. She told 22News that she “was horrified to see a large bug outside [Wednesday], on my front steps.” Diane then killed it and sent the picture to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
Jennifer Forman Orth, Ph.D., an Environmental Biologist at MDAR confirmed to 22News that the photo is of an adult spotted lanternfly. Forman said the area it was found in is in the general area of Springfield with a known lanternfly infestation. The insect is known to have been spotted previously in Springfield, Holyoke, Worcester, and parts of Connecticut.
The concern of spotted lanternfly is the continued growth of its populations which target grapevines, hops, and fruit trees. This pest feeds on sap and can damage or kill over 100 types of plants. Additionally, they swarm during mating season causing an impact on outdoor activities.
The bug can be found congregating on sides of buildings, in or on vehicles, or on plants they prefer to attack, including trees of heaven, grape, and walnut.
What to do if you find a Spotted Lanternfly egg mass
If you happen to come across an egg mass of the Spotted Lanternfly, MDAR encourages you to take a photo and report it to the department online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. An egg mass is typically gray or beige in color, about an inch and a half long, and can be found on any flat surface. They are typically found on tree bark, fenceposts, other wood products, and rusty metal.
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