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DEC warns of 'spotted lanternfly' that may be in New York

NEW YORK STATE (WROC) - DEC is asking members of the public to keep an eye out for an invasive species that may have made its way to New York.

Officials say the spotted lanternfly was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. In fall of 2017, a single spotted lanternfly was found in New York.

As a result, the state has upped its efforts to detect the bug. State officials say the insects feed on 70 plant specifies including maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops.

Officials write, "[Spotted lanternfly] feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky 'honeydew,' which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants."

“DEC and our partners at the Department of Agriculture and Markets are closely tracking the spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive pest, as part of our ongoing efforts to prevent its establishment and spread in New York. This pest has the potential to severely impact our forests, as well as our state’s agricultural and tourism industries,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New Yorkers are our eyes on the ground and engaging the public’s participation to support our efforts is a crucial step in preventing the spotted lanternfly from establishing itself in our state.”

If you happen to spot a spotted lanternfly, you can send a message and photos to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov. Officials ask members who report the fly to also note where the insect, egg masses or infestation signs were found.

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