ITS ALIVE! First Live Lanternfly Spotted In Connecticut

Matt Dwyer
October 15, 2019 - 5:18 pm

File photo of a spotted lanternfly in Chester County, Pennsylvania. (arlutz73 iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Categories: 

(WTIC-AM) -- A live spotted lanternfly has been found in Connecticut for the first time. 

One bug was found in Southbury. No additional insects were seen in the immediate area. 

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Entomologist Kirby Stafford said it is too soon to tell if there is a population of the bugs established in the state.

The insects can cause damage to a variety of fruit crops and to maple trees.

"It's a plant hopper," Stafford said. "It feeds on the sap and produces what we call honeydew, a sticky resin that gets all over everything.  Sooty mold will grow in that, so it can cause quite a lot of damage."

Stafford says the insect is a concern for grape growers, apple orchards and hops farmers.

The invasive bug is from China, Vietnam, and India.

A dead lanternfly was found in Connecticut last year, but it was apparently carried to the state on a vehicle from Pennsylvania, where there is a large infestation.

Stafford said it is just a matter of time, before the insect moves in to Connecticut.

The state asks people who see the distinctive bugs to email info and a photograph to ReportSLF@ct.gov.