State officials urging residents to report any signs of invasive species


Photo Credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced on Friday that they have identified two dead spotted lanternfly in Massachusetts.

The two insects were found in Milford and Norwood and were shipped to the state from Pennsylvania. MDAR was also recently notified of plants with spotted lanternfly eggs that may have been unintentionally imported and planted in several parts of Massachusetts. The species is known to be invasive and attack a variety of trees, shrubs, and vines including apple trees, peach trees, grape vines, and maple trees.

The MDAR is asking residents to check any goods such as plants, landscaping materials, or outdoor furniture as well as the packaging sent from states with a known infestation for the insect or eggs of the insect. The spotted lanternfly tend to lay eggs on flat surfaces and they look rectangular and yellowish-brown. The insect itself looks large, gray, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings. Currently, there are known introductions of spotted lanternfly in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

If you think you have found signs of the insect, you are asked to take a picture and report it here.

“These most recent finds call attention to the fact that there are many ways that spotted lanternfly can travel here from other states,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “Early detection plays an important role in the protection of our state’s economic and ecological resources from invasive species, and we ask anyone who may have received shipments of wood, ornamental plants, or any other materials from Pennsylvania or other Northeastern states to help protect the natural resources and agricultural industries of Massachusetts by checking for and reporting any signs of spotted lanternfly.”

No live spotted lanternfly have been reported in Massachusetts yet.

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