New type of invasive insect getting close to CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New type of invasive insect getting close to CT

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(NYSDEC) (NYSDEC)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

It may look pretty, but don’t let its beauty deceive you.

An insect that originally comes from Asia has been plaguing other states in the northeast the past few years and now officials are very concerned it could be coming to Connecticut very soon.

The pretty flies, with their yellow and red colors, look like they could be pretty butterflies, but they are not.  

They are Spotted Lanternflies and they can be disastrous for crops in Connecticut.

“It’s quite pretty. It does look like a butterfly. There’s not anything else that looks quite like this insect so it should be pretty easy to identify,” said Dr. Victoria Smith, Deputy State Entomologist.

Smith is the Deputy state entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven.

She says the Dragon Lanternfly can destroy apple and grape crops and many other types in Connecticut.

While one hasn’t been spotted in the state yet, they could be hatching here as early as this week.

“That’s what we’re afraid of but we’ll be diligent and take a look at these locations and like I said we’re treating up our outreach and encourage people that if they see anything that looks like it, give us a call or send us an email,” Smith said.

The insects first came to the US in Pennsylvania in 2014.

Their eggs were on shipments of stones that were brought in from Korea.

Since then the pests have shown up in several states. Most recently neighboring New York.

While they don’t sting or bite and are worst to crops, even for a regular homeowner they are still a nuisance because of their droppings.

“It’s a liquid excrement that is very sticky but it also attracts bees and wasps and hornets and it also makes things black with mold,” said Smith.

So now we have the Spotted Lanternfly to be on the lookout for this spring as well as gypsy moths, although there are expected to be less of those because of the rainy winter.

One final thing to note is when Spotted Lanternflies are first born they kind of look like ticks and many people mistake them for that, but the difference is regular ticks move very slowly.

These flies move very quickly and sometimes they’re called fast ticks.

It’s important to know the difference

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