Spotted lanternfly found in another W.Va. county

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Spotted Lanternfly
Spotted Lanternfly by U.S. Department of Agriculture (Photo courtesy of Bugwood) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/18866197140)], via Flickr

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has confirmed a third county, Jefferson, that now hosts the invasive spotted lanternfly. Jefferson County was added to the list, which includes Berkeley and Mineral counties, after United States Department of Agriculture collaborators spotted a small population on May 27, near Kearneysville.

The WVDA and USDA-APHIS confirmed the findings the following week. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture will be conducting treatments with USDA-APHIS to contain the insects.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive planthopper that is native to China and arrived in North America hidden on goods imported from Asia. Juvenile spotted lanternflies, known as nymphs, and adults prefer to feed on the invasive tree known as tree-of-heaven, but also feed on a wide range of crops and plants, including grapes, apples, hops, walnuts and hardwood trees.

For more information or to report potential spotted lanternfly sightings, contact bugbusters@wvda.us or 304-558-2212.

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