Mass. agriculture department warns that egg masses may have been accidentally brought in on nursery stock imported from other states
This just in from state officials: Beware the spotted lanternfly!
According to a Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources press release, MDAR leadership “is asking the public to keep an eye out for the invasive pest known as spotted lanternfly (SLF, scientific name Lycorma delicatula) during the spring planting season due to the risk of egg masses being accidentally brought in on shipments of trees imported from other states. [The] MDAR recently received reports that nursery stock from SLF-infested areas may have been sent to Massachusetts growers. Due to this, anyone who has recently purchased trees or shrubs or had them planted on their property, particularly maple or crabapple trees, is being asked to inspect the trunk and branches to ensure there are no SLF egg masses or any hitchhiking nymphs, and to report any finds to MDAR. Landscapers and plant nurseries are also being reminded to stay on the lookout for this pest.
“[The] spotted lanternfly is a sap-feeding insect that has caused significant impacts to vineyards, orchards, and other agricultural commodities in states where it has become established. SLF not only harms grapevines, maples, hops, blueberries, and over 100 other host plants, but has been observed to impact outdoor recreation in other states where populations are high and adult lanternflies swarm in large numbers during mating season.
The MDAR asks Mass. residents to go to massnrc.org/pests/slf for more information and to report spotted lanternfly sightings.