A "destructive invasive pest" from Asia has been spotted in the Hudson Valley and across New York State.

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The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper from Asia. In the United States, it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. The destructive pest feeds on more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven, and plants and crops that are critical to New York’s agricultural economy, according to the DEC. It also impacts forest health and recreational activities.

The first major infestation of the pest in New York was found in Staten Island last summer. This summer it's been confirmed in Newburgh, Port Jervis, Orangeburg, Sloatsburg and in Ithaca, according to Cornell University.

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In the past, several individual adult SLF have been found in counties across New York including Delaware, Albany, Yates, Westchester, Suffolk, New York, Kings, Monroe, Chemung, Erie, Ontario, Ulster, Nassau, Sullivan and Orange, the DEC reports.

“Once these insects reach some of the [state’s] grape production areas, there’s going to be an impact,” New York State Integrated Pest Management Program Director at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alejandro Calixto told Cornell.

The Spotted Lanternfly can jump and fly short distances. It is often spread from human activity. They often hitch rides to new areas when they lay their eggs on vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone, or other items, according to the DEC.

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.

If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York the DEC would like your help. You can help by:

  • Taking pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs as described above (include something for scale such as a coin or ruler) and email to spottedlanternfly@agriculture.ny.gov OR fill out a reporting form.
  • Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.)

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