Officials Warn of the Return of Spotted Lanternflies

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insects
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An invasive species will soon be returning to the area, and officials are warning residents about what to do with the infamous insects.

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive planthopper native to Asia that was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, when experts found the insect in Berks County. Over the past few years, Montgomery County and its surrounding areas have seen swarms of the insect become a daily nuisance to people, plants, and other wildlife in and around the state.

Now that they are coming back, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is warning residents of what to do about the insects, which are now in their young “nymph” phase.

“They’re here” the department said online.

“From now through late June, this is what #SpottedLanternfly nymphs look like. They’re tiny now but can have a BIG impact later. You know what to do – If you see them, squash them!”

The species is known to be dangerous to native plant species. A 2019 economic impact study estimates that, if left uncontrolled, the Spotted Laternfly population could cost the state $324 million annually due to damages in the fruit tree, plant nursery and timber industries.

Learn more about the insects at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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