A "destructive invasive pest" from Asia was recently confirmed in New York.

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture and Markets confirmed that live and dead spotted lanternflies were found at a tree nursery in Deer Park, Suffolk County, in a shipment originating from Pennsylvania.

"We are closely tracking spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive pest that has the potential to severely impact our state's agricultural and tourism industries," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.

The invasive insect from Asia feeds on over 70 plant species like maple, grapevine and hops, making the plants vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects.

Spotted lanternfly infestations were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since been found in New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia, officials say.

Because of the close proximity to New York, there was a high risk of the spotted lanternfly coming to the Empire State.

Last month, live spotted lanternflies were found in Albany and Yates counties. Dead spotted lanternflies were found in Delaware, Broome and Monroe counties.

According to the DEC, spotted lanternflies are at first black with white spots before turning red when they become adults. They start to appear as early as April and begin to appear as adults in July. They are one inch long with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are gray and black, hindwings red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe.

Adults lay eggs on nearly anything from trunks, roots, firewood, furniture and even cars.

"Given the widespread devastation this invasive pest can have on our agricultural crops, we appreciate all efforts to identify and report the spotted lanternfly in New York State," State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said.

If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York the DEC asks you to take the following steps:

  • Take pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs and email to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.
  • Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.)

You can also report the infestation to iMapInvasives 

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