WVDA Warns Citizens; Be on the Lookout for Spotted Lanternfly
Charleston, WV – The West Virginia Department of
Agriculture (WVDA) is asking citizens to be on the lookout for a potential
new invasive species to West Virginia. The spotted lanternfly, a
destructive, invasive plant hopper, has been confirmed in New Castle
County, DE. The insect was first detected in the United States in 2014 in
like the emerald ash borer, have devastated our forests. Getting out in
front of these pests is crucial to protecting one of West Virginia’s most
valuable resources,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We
are asking the citizens to keep their eyes open for this potential pest.”
lanternfly is not known to be present in West Virginia, but it currently
infests 13 counties in Pennsylvania and was detected last week in Delaware.
The spotted lanternfly is native to China, India and Vietnam. It is known
to feed on over 70 plant species and is considered an invasive pest in
South Korea where it was introduced in 2006.
“We are cautious
at this point, but we need citizens to be aware of this pest. The lanternfly
is clearly spreading closer to West Virginia’s border. We just want to be
ready,” said WVDA Plant Industries Director Tim Brown.
Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922