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Expert Offers Tips for Combating The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

Virginia’s most infamous hitchhiker is on the move again: the spotted lanternfly. These insects colonize quickly, disrupt native ecosystems, and potentially cause problems to human health and agriculture.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have partnered to empower the citizens of the commonwealth to take action themselves on these most unwelcome visitors.

“We need to prevent spotted lanternfly from going somewhere else and becoming a problem. Make sure it does not move on vehicles or plants and remove and squish any you find,” said Eric Day, manager of the Insect ID Lab in the Department of Entomology.

If seen, join the effort by stomping, treating, and checking for this destructive, invasive insect. Virginia Cooperative Extension has resources for controlling the spotted lanternfly.

Before you move items stored outside, check for spotted lanternflies on:

  • RVs, ATVs, boats, hunting stands, trailers, and portable buildings
  • Building materials and stones
  • Propane tanks
  • Outdoor machinery
  • Pallets
  • Containers
  • Garden Equipment
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Play sets or toys
  • Other exposed surfaces
Before you leave your home or work site, check for spotted lanternflies on your vehicle:
  • Doors and sides
  • Grill
  • Bumpers
  • Wheel wells
  • Roof
  • Cargo area

In addition to the actions that everyone can take, Virginia Cooperative Extension has an abundant library of digital and online publications and resources, including additional resources on the spotted lanternfly, geared toward providing our communities with specialized information tailored to local environments and challenges.

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