State of Michigan Warns of Invasive Insect That Could ‘Wreak Havoc’ on Crops
A bright, colorful insect that damages fruit, hops, and hardwood trees could be the next invasive species in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking the public to be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly.
Spotted Lanternfly Infestations in the U.S.
While live spotted lanternfly have not been detected in Michigan yet, the invasive insects were first spotted in the U.S. in United States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania and have spread rapidly across the country.
Spotted Lanterfly infestations have been confirmed in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Mayland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
According to MDARD, no live spotted lanternfly have been found in Michigan, however, there have been five confirmed cases of dead lanternfly found in separate locations across the state. In these cases, the dead insects were found in packaging materials or objects shipped from states with known infestations.
Damage Caused by Spotted Lanternfly
Spotted lanternflies cause damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black, sooty mold can kill plants. The honeydew often attracts other pests like hornets, wasps, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and crop harvests.
This insect could damage or kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops, plums, cherries, oak, willow, maple and sycamore.
Robert Miller, invasive species prevention and response specialist for MDARD says,
“Our agricultural and natural resources are part of Michigan’s identity and spotted lanternfly has the potential to forever change that landscape. With its ability to wreak havoc grapes, apples, hops, stone fruits and more, this could be devastating to Michigan’s farmers and the state’s food and agriculture industry.”
Here's what to be on the lookout for:
Spotted Lantern Fly: Possibly Michigan's Next Invasive Species
What To Do If You Spot a Spotted Lanternfly
If you see eggs, juvenile or adult spotted lanterflies, MDARD asks that you record the location, take pictures if you can, and report it to them.
You can email MDA-Info@michigan.gov or call 800-292-3939.There's also the Midwest Invasive Species Online Reporting Tool, or you can download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone.
You can find more information on spotted lanternfly here.