SHREWSBURY, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has identified an infestation of the invasive spotted lanternfly on small group of trees in Shrewsbury. Now, they are asking residents to be vigilant and check outdoor surfaces for egg masses.

This is the second time in the last year that a population of the invasive insect have been found in Massachusetts. A spotted lanternfly was found in Fitchburg in July 2021. Winter is the time to check trees, stones, outdoor furniture, fences, recreational vehicles and other outdoor surfaces for egg masses. The image below is an example of what they might look like.

Spotted lanternfly egg masses (left and top of photo) with a gypsy moth egg mass (right). Photo courtesy of Gregory Hoover.

The spotted lanternflies have been found in several locations in central and western Massachusetts. Live species have been found in Shrewsbury and Fitchburg but reports of the invasive insect have also come from Ludlow, Hadley and Conway. They are known to attack a variety of trees, shrubs and vines, and could impact a large range of products like apples, peaches, grapes and maple syrup. They can be spotted in all seasons.

Map: Confirmed sightings in Spotted Lanternfly in Massachusetts

Credit: MDAR

What to do if you find a Spotted Lanternfly

If you happen to come across a spotted lanternfly, MDAR encourages you to take a photo or collect the specimen and report it to the department online. Search the area for both adult insects as well. A full size spotted lanternfly is identified as large, gray bugs, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings. Nymphs of the insect look black with white dots and older nymphs are red with black and white spots.