Spotted Lanternfly In RI

The RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) reports that a single Spotted Lanternfly was spotted last month in Warwick. This invasive planthopper uses a stylet (or beak) to pierce plant tissue for feeding attacking grapevines, hops, orchard fruits, and hardwoods.

Adult lanternflies are about an inch long and are active from August until the first hard freeze, which typically occurs from late October into November.

If you think you have seen an egg mass, nymphs, or an adult, go to the RIDEM’s Sighting Report Form, where they have useful photos of each stage.

Early detection is key to avoid a spotted lanternfly introduction in Rhode Island. Help us prevent spotted lanternfly by learning how to identify the egg, nymph, and adult life stages of this pest. If you suspect you found a spotted lanternfly take a photo and try to collect a specimen.

Don’t just look for the showy adults, which can survive through the first hard frost. Nymphs can be found through October, and egg masses can be found from September through May.

Inspect trees (in particular, tree of heaven), bricks, stone, and other smooth surfaces for egg masses.

The USDA has more at its ‘Beat the Bug’ page. The notorious Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is also an invasive species, sometimes called the ashcan tree. It grows everywhere.

At risk are: apples, cherries, grapes, hops, maples, oaks, peaches, pines, poplars, walnuts, and willows.

Unfortunately, the Boston Globe is reporting evidence of a breeding population in Massachusetts.

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