Is the spotted lanternfly a threat to western Mass.? - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Is the spotted lanternfly a threat to western Mass.?

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WESTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

There’s a new threat to fruit crops, it's called the spotted lanternfly.

While the insect has not been spotted in the Commonwealth yet, local farmers are on the look out.
 
The spotted lanternfly is not actually a fly or a moth, but rather an insect native to China and first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the spotted lanternfly feeds on anything and everything from these fruits including apples, grapes, and peaches as well as almonds and hops, to all types of trees found around western Massachusetts and beyond.
 
"We do have some grapes in the ground now for wines, and we do have pines out back. We want to watch that, we don't want to see the pines go also," said Brad Morse, owner of the Outlook Farm in Westhampton.
 
Spotted lanternflies, and even the younger tick-looking nymphs that will hatch any day now, have been popping up in nearby states like New York and Delaware.

While they have not been spotted in Massachusetts, even farmers like Morse, who have been in the business for 50 years, are taking it very seriously, and said others should too.
 
"Everybody has to be on the ball. You have to be diligent on these new bugs, or they can really take you down," Morse added.   

The spotted lanternfly is not in Massachusetts yet, but if you do believe you have spotted one, you can report it by visiting the link here

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that dusk is a great time to check your trees or plants for signs of this pest, as they tend to gather in large groups on the trunks and stems of plants at that time of day.

Anyone who would like to know more information on the lanternfly can do so by clicking here.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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