Invasive spotted lanternfly has arrived in Ithaca, elsewhere

Regional

This Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, photo shows a spotted lanternfly at a vineyard in Kutztown, Pa. The spotted lanternfly has emerged as a serious pest since the federal government confirmed its arrival in southeastern Pennsylvania five years ago this week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The invasive spotted lanternfly has arrived near Ithaca and in two New York counties that border Pennsylvania, threatening vineyards and other agricultural producers in the state.

The bugs have been found in Ithaca and in Rockland and Orange counties in recent weeks, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported on Friday.

The large spotted bugs are native to Asia and flash a bright spot of red when opening their wings. Lanternflies feed on the sap of plants like grapes, apples and hops.

Lanternflies first appeared in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania, where they have posed an existential threat to vineyards and inspired ire and despair in residents affected by infestations.

Inspectors from New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed the presence of the insects in five areas and said workers were looking for the insect’s eggs to remove them before they hatch in the spring, the newspaper reported.

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