Department of Natural Resources
Nov. 16, 2020
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking freight carriers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to be on the lookout for invasive spotted lanternfly after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed dead spotted lanternfly insects were found in Michigan in recent weeks. While the specimens found were dead, these cases demonstrate one of the many ways this insect could find its way into the state. There is no evidence of established populations of spotted lanternfly in Michigan.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of MDARD inspectors, alert business owners and USDA, we were able to intercept these shipments. These detections showcase the importance of being on the continual lookout for invasive species,” said Robert Miller, MDARD’s Invasive Species Prevention and Response Specialist. “This a great example of the public and government agencies working together to keep out unwanted pests and protecting our prized natural resources.”
|Invasive species are those that are not native and can cause harm to the economy, environment, or human health.
Spotted lanternfly causes direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black, sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests, particularly hornets, wasps, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.
MDARD is asking people involved in transporting and handling goods or freight to become familiar with identifying spotted lanternfly adults and egg masses, as both could become attached to vehicles or goods themselves and unintentionally be brought into Michigan.
|Spotted lanternfly adults are roughly one inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge. Egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating.
For additional information on identifying or reporting spotted lanternfly, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.
Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions and photo credit information follow:
SLF: Spotted lanternflies' closed wings are dull gray to brown with black spots, but with their wings open, they are easy to identify due to the bright red on their underwings and yellow and black abdomen. Photo courtesy of Richard Gardner, Bugwood.org.
Egg mass: Spotted lanternfly egg masses may be found on vehicles, outdoor equipment or anything that has been outside in an infested area. Photo courtesy of Emilie Swackhammer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org.