The Massachusetts Natural Resources Collaboration asks residents to be on the lookout for the invasive spotted lanternfly.
The spotted lanternfly has been found in several Massachusetts towns. Mass.Gov reports an infestation in Fitchburg, with confirmed sightings reported in Concord and Billerica this summer.
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula or “SLF”) is an invasive insect first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014. It causes damage to trees and other woody plants by feeding on their sap. While the primary host plant of SLF is the invasive tree-of-heaven, researchers have found that it also targets grapevines, hops, and fruit trees, giving it the potential to become a serious agricultural pest. The bug can be found congregating on sides of buildings, in or on vehicles, or on plants they prefer to attack, including tree of heaven, grape and walnut.
If you find a spotted lanternfly, please report it to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources on their website: https://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/spot