(CBS DETROIT) - The spotted lanternfly was detected last week in Oakland County, making it the first detection of this invasive bug in Michigan.
Spotted lanternflies are more likely to be seen with wings folded. Look for grey to brown wings with black spots, and black-striped wing tips. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.
On Aug. 10, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that a small population of spotted lanternfly was detected in Pontiac.
"Although not unexpected, this is certainly tough news to share due to its potential for it to negatively impact Michigan's grape industry," said McDowell. "Spotted lanternfly has been moving closer to the state over the last few years. MDARD, along with our state, local and federal partners, has been working tirelessly to inform and educate growers and the public about this highly invasive insect."
Adult spotted lanterfly's bright wing coloration is hidden when wings are closed. Photo courtesy of Robert Gardner, Bugwood.org.
The bug is native to eastern Asia and was first detected in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania.
Since 2014, spotted lanternfly have spread throughout the eastern states.
Confirmed observations of spotted lanternfly have been recorded in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
"MDARD and MDNR are working with the United States Department of Agriculture to define the extent of the infestation," said Mike Philip, MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director. "Although we can't pinpoint exactly how it got here, it likely hitchhiked on nursery stock brought in from an infested state and has possibly been here for several months. We are in the assessment stage of response, but it is important to note that typical pest management techniques have not proven effective for eliminating the pest in other states."
Spotted lanternflies may lay egg masses on vehicles, outdoor furniture or other items that can be transported to new areas, leading to new infestations. Photo courtesy of Emilie Swackhammer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources shared some things residents can do if they spot one of these bugs:
- Check Your Vehicle: Before leaving a parking lot or work site, inspect vehicles for spotted lanternfly egg or insects. Check doors, sides, bumpers, wheel wells, grills, and roofs. If found, destroy any eggs or insects you find.
- Park with Windows Closed: The spotted lanternfly and its nymphs can enter vehicles unsuspectedly. When parked, make sure to keep windows closed.
- Remove and Destroy Pests: Crush nymphs and adult insects. Scrape egg masses into a plastic bag containing hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to kill them.
- Remove Host Trees: Spotted lanternflies prefer the ailanthus tree, also known as "tree of heaven." Try to remove trees from properties to avoid attracting spotted lanternfly.
- Report Sightings: Send in required photos to Eyes in the Field. Photos are necessary to verify a report and to aid in identification.
For more information on reporting spotted lanternfly, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.
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