In a recent release, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking the public to be on the lookout for the invasive Spotted Lanternfly. The insect has the potential to seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources.
According to reports it can kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants. These include grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees. C’mon man, not the hops.
First detected in 2014, in Southeastern Pennsylvania, it has been spreading rapidly across the northeastern states. Although it has not been detected in Michigan yet, MDARD has announced their concern. This follows confirmed cases in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Spotted Lanternfly causes damage by sucking sap from plants and secreting honeydew, a sugar-rich, sticky liquid. As a result, the honeydew turns into a black sooty mold that can kill plants and foul surfaces. Likewise, it also attracts other pests like yellow jackets, flies and ants.
“Spotted lanternfly may be a colorful insect worthy of an Instagram post, but also is an invasive species with the potential to wreak havoc on trees, plants and other natural resources, resulting in millions of dollars in damages,” said Robert Miller, invasive species prevention and response specialist for MDARD. “In addition, it has the potential to impact grapes, stone fruits, apples and other crops in Michigan’s fruit belt as well as important timber species statewide.”
From late summer to the first hard frost, they are in their adult stage, roughly one inch long. When their wings are folded, they are gray to brown with black spots. However, when open they reveal a yellow abdomen and bright red hind wings.
As adults they lay eggs in masses that resemble old chewing gun and can survive winter temperatures. The wingless nymphs hatch in the Spring and are black with white spots, developing red patches in their final nymph stage.
In November of 2020, MDARD and the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed dead Spotted Lanternfly adults in packing material at two separate Michigan locations. For this reason, they advise that any business/individual receiving shipments from states with the insect to inspect your shipments. You can find a map of confirmed locations here.According to reports, “Recent discoveries of small populations in eastern Ohio and southern Indiana, indicate spotted lanternfly continues to encroach into the Midwest. With the current rate of spread, it is possible that spotted lanternfly could reach Michigan at any time. Public awareness and reporting are essential to early detection, which provides the opportunity to contain an infestation before it becomes a widespread problem.”
If you find signs of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (egg mass, nymph or adult) take a photo and alert MDARD. Make sure to note the date, time and location of the sighting. You can reach the MDARD at MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or by phone at 800-292-3939.
For additional information on identifying or reporting, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly. K&G
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Joshua Swanagon has studied survival in both urban and wilderness environments in Colorado and Michigan for most of his life, while also adding experience in harsher terrains abroad. He utilizes his experience and years of diverse martial arts and combatives training and real world application as a self-defense/combatives instructor, published freelance writer and Field Editor for various magazines in the fields of knives, survival, self-defense and tactical subject matters. Joshua also brings with him his years of experience as Editor of, and Subject Matter Expert for, Knives Illustrated Magazine.
Tell Mothra to leave the Hops alone!
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