MDARD urges caution after lanternfly cases

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 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 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.

Invasive species are those that are not native and can cause harm to the economy, environment, or human health.

First found in the United States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, spotted lanternfly has been spreading rapidly across the nation. If introduced, spotted lanternfly could seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources. This insect could damage more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops, and hardwood trees.

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.

If you find a spotted lanternfly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and report to MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or call MDARD’s Customer Service Center, (800) 292-3939.

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