I was just settling in for some nice reading on Virginia landscaping ideas, dreaming winsomely about my spring garden activities, when I saw it- Great, yet another bug we have to worry about in our beautiful region. And this time it is a dangerous one. Hits me where I breathe. It could affect Virginias wine production! NOoooooo!
This devious character is called the Spotted Lanternfly. I know – such a pretty name for such a destructive little beastie! The spotted lanternfly adult is approximately 1″ long and 1/2″ wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. The low down I gleaned after reading numerous articles is that this insect is invasive (does not belong here) and the theory is that they arrived in Pennsylvania in 2014 on a pallet of rocks. Pennsylvania tried to control the spread of this little bugger but in January of this year, one was spotted in Frederick County, VA.
How could this affect our region?
The Red Winged Black Spotted bug, that resembles a moth, sucks the life out of Grape Vines, Fruit Trees and Hops and can often be found in the Tree of Heaven, also known as the Tree of Paradise. The unwanted spread of these colorful critters could greatly affect Virginias booming wine and craft beer industry.
In an effort to protect Virginias fruit vines and trees, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Extension Office asks that we keep eye out for these insects in all of its stages of life –
What to do if you see one-
Do you have a specimen?
If you think that you have found a spotted lanternfly, you can take a specimen to your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office.
Do you have a picture?
If you only have a picture or would rather submit a picture, please use this link: https://ask.extension.org/groups/1981/ask
* Be sure to include a street address and email address.
On Lake Time will bring you further updates as information on this menace develops but for now, keep on the lookout and please report any that you see.
More information can be found at the Virginia Extention Office Website
Or in this article by Buckeye Yard and Garden Online