The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is asking all travelers to Michigan to beware of the invasive spotted lanternfly, an insect that damages plant life. The lanternfly is from Asia and first appeared in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. MDARD Invasive Species Prevention Specialist Rob Miller tells WSJM News the bug hasn’t shown up in Michigan, but it’s edged close, being found in Ohio. Dead spotted lanternflies were found on some goods shipped into the state recently. Miller says we don’t want the bug here.
“What it does is it damages plants by sucking sap out of the plants, and then it’ll eject honeydew out of the back, and the honeydew forms black, sooty mold which can cover plants and surfaces underneath trees or other vegetation that the lanternfly is feeding on,” Miller said.
Miller asks those who travel to the mid-Atlantic region and back to Michigan to check their vehicles to be sure there aren’t any spotted lanternflies hitching a ride. The bug is about an inch long and has red underwings with a grey body that has black spots. Their eggs look like grey used chewing gum. You can find out more at Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.