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Invasive Species: Insects

Invasive Insects

Species that are not native and also have the potential to harm human health or to harm natural, agricultural or silvicultural resources can be listed as prohibited or restricted by the State of Michigan. If a species is prohibited or restricted, it is unlawful to possess, introduce, import, sell or offer that species for sale as a live organism, except under certain circumstances.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

(Anoplophora glabripennis)

Watch List - Prohibited in Michigan

The Asian longhorned beetle can attack and kill many tree species including poplar, willow, sycamore, and horse chestnut, but its favorite host are maple trees. The larvae feed in tunnels in the wood of the tree branches and trunks, eventually killing the tree.

More information: Asian longhorned beetle

Balsam Woolly Adelgid

(Adelges piceae)

Watch List

Balsam woolly adelgid is a sap-feeding insect that attacks true fir trees, including balsam fir and Fraser fir. Repeated attacks weaken trees, cause twig gouting, kill branches and, over the course of several years, cause trees to die.

More information: Balsam woolly adelgid

Box Tree Moth

(Cydalima perspectalis)

Box tree moth caterpillars feed primarily on boxwood and can defoliate host plants. Once the leaves are gone, larvae consume the bark, leading to girdling and plant death. 

More information: Box tree moth

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

(Halyomorpha halys)

Brown marmorated stink bugs affect agricultural crops, fruit trees and ornamentals and can be a nuisance in indoor environments.

More information: Brown marmorated stink bug

Emerald Ash Borer

(Agrilus planipennis)

Prohibited in Michigan

The Emerald Ash Borer is a bright, metallic green insect with purple abdominal segments under its wing covers. They are approximately 1/2 inch in length and can fit on the head of a penny. The larva are worm-like. The adults feed on the foliage of ash tress and the larvae tunnel and feed on the underside of the bark.

More information: Emerald ash borer

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

(Adelges tsugae)


These tiny insects secrete white wax as they feed on sap from hemlock shoots and branches. Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) feeding can kill needles, shoots and branches, resulting in tree death.

More information: Hemlock woolly adelgid

Japanese Beetle

(Popilla japonica)

Japanese beetle grubs damage lawns and turf grasses. Beetles skeletonize leaves and flowers of ornamental plants and trees and can damage crops.

More information: Japanese beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

Watch List

(Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins)

Mountain pine beetle is an aggressive and destructive bark beetle that can infest most pine tree species. The beetles and their larvae tunnel through inner bark, eventually causing tree death.

More information: Mountain Pine Beetle

Spongy Moth

(Lymantria dispar)

(Formerly Gypsy moth)

Spongy moth caterpillars defoliate trees, leaving trees vulnerable to diseases and other pests, which may lead to tree mortality.

More information: Spongy moth

Spotted Lanternfly

(Lycorma delicatula)

Watch List

The spotted lanternfly sucks sap from the stems and leaves of orchard trees, grape vines, oaks, pines and other host plants. Feeding can weaken the plant and eventually contribute to its death. Trees will develop weeping wounds that attract other insects and excreted fluids from spotted lanternflies can cause mold growth on plants.  

More information: Spotted lanternfly