WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM)- The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive species that could impact the agricultural and tourism industries.

The SLF is from Asia and feeds mostly on the Tree of Heaven but can also feed on plants like grapes, maple, fruit trees and more. The SLF was first discovered in 2014 and has been found in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

It can cause damage to trees and crops, can reduce yield on some fruit-bearing crops such as grapes. It also can produce honeydew that can damage property, cause “sooty mold to grow on outdoor plants”. (N.Y. Department of Agriculture)

Currently New York state has introduced quarantines in areas that have seen the SLF to prevent the spread of the bug. If you are in an area with SLF, inspect your vehicles and belongings before exiting the area. If you find any take pictures of the insect (with something to compare next to it for size if possible such as a coin) and collect the insect if it is possible. Place the insect in a freezer or jar with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Be sure to note the location of where the bug was spotted and email the information to spottedlanternfly@agriculture.ny.gov.

For more information about the spotted lanternfly click here.