GHENT, WV (WVNS) — There’s a bug in the Mountain State, and it is definitely not welcome in Almost Heaven.
The invasive species that has come into our state, and started spreading from Pennsylvania is the Spotted Lanternfly. These nasty bugs can be harmful to our state because of what they feast on.
According to onlyinyourstate.com, Spotted Lanternflies, which are originally from China prey on trees and plants, including West Virginia favorites like apple and walnut trees. They also love grape vines, Tree of Heaven, Virginia Creeper, maples, birch, and many other woody trees and plants.
These bugs destroy important plants and other plant species, making them a threat to gardeners and plant lovers alike. They have already been spotted in certain parts of West Virginia.
Onlyinyourstate.com said officials are urging anyone who comes across one of these nasty bugs to squish it on sight. “If you see ’em, squash ’em!,” said by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Once you have done as instructed, report your sighting to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
There are ways you can spot these bugs and know what to look for:
- Adult Spotted Lanternflies are shades of tan, gray, and orange-red, with black spots.
- Spotted Lanternfly nymphs, which are of the younger variety are black or red and black with white spots, and can hop.
- Spotted Lanternflies can lay their eggs on vehicles, boats, campers, and other objects, so you should check these items and others before traveling, especially if you are coming from a county with prevalence of this bug.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture said, “travelers to and within West Virginia are asked to inspect their vehicles, luggage and even their clothing for the pest as these inspections are paramount in stopping the spread of this insect. All spotted lanternfly should be killed on site and reported to the WVDA.”
If you need more information or to report spotted lanternfly sightings, you should contact the WVDA through firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-558-2212.