The Invasive, Nasty Spotted Lanternfly Has Just Been Detected in Michigan
Experts have been warning us and this time they were right. The Spotted Lanternfly - an invasive creature native to eastern Asia - has been detected in Oakland County.
The Spotted Lanternfly has been on our radar since April of 2019 when we first shared experts' warnings that the bug was expected to invade Michigan. Residents of eastern Pennsylvania have been battling with the bugs for several years now, with some even reporting that they feel like they've been held as prisoners in their homes.
It has since migrated to New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, New York, and Maryland.
Where Was the Species Detected?
A small population of the Spotted Lanternfly was seen in Pontiac last week, and the finding was confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture on Wednesday (8/10).
What Can We Expect From the Spotted Lanternfly?
The species is known to dine on vegetation and fruit trees and poses a threat to black walnut, river birch, willow, sumac, and red maple trees.
Joanne Foreman is the invasive species communications coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She says there is still a lot to learn about the species.
“The research community is still learning about the spotted lanternfly and its potential for impacting our natural resources as well as treatments to eliminate this pest,” Foreman said in a press release. “It also could have an effect on important timber species statewide. What the long-term impact might be is unknown.”
What Can You Do?
Experts say that the creature likes to 'hitchhike' to new areas by catching rides on vehicles, firewood, tires, and campers.
They recommend parking vehicles with the windows closed and checking vehicles carefully for Spotted Lanternfly eggs and insects before moving. Check vehicle doors, sides, bumpers, wheel wells, and grills. Moving firewood or any vegetation from region to region is strongly discouraged.
Since the species prefers the ailanthus tree, also known as the 'tree of heaven,' try to remove those trees from personal property in order to avoid attracting the creature.