Officials say you should kill this new invasive bug that could destroy the area's trees.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest from Asia that primarily feeds on trees but can also feed on a wide variety of plants such as grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, fruit trees and others, officials say. This insect could impact New York’s forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries, the DEC warns.

Spotted lanternfly infestations were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since been found in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia, officials say.

In New York, the insect has been spotted in Westchester, Delaware, Albany, Suffolk Yates, Broome, Monroe, Erie, Ontario and Chemung counties.

“Kill it. Squash it, smash it. Just get rid of it,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently said. “These are called bad bugs for a reason. Don’t let them take over your county next.”

According to the DEC, spotted lanternflies are at first black with white spots before turning red when they become adults. They start to appear as early and April and begin to appear as adults in July. They are one inch long with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are gray and black, hindwings red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe.

A ship from Pennsylvania infested with the insects was found last month in Brooklyn, NBC reports.

Adults lay eggs on nearly anything from trunks, roots, firewood, furniture and even cars. The bugs can lay egg masses with up to 50 eggs each.

"Given the widespread devastation this invasive pest can have on our agricultural crops, we appreciate all efforts to identify and report the spotted lanternfly in New York State," Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said.

If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York the DEC asks you to take the following steps:

  • Take pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs and email to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.
  • Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.)

You can also report the infestation to iMapInvasives 

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