MONTPELIER, Vt.—A maple-eating invasive insect from China has been found in Vermont.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) was alerted in August that a live ‘Spotted Lanternfly’ was captured at a business in Rutland while unloading a truck originating from a state known to have laternfly infestations.
The business owners suspected the bugs were odd and brought them to agriculutre officials at the Forestry Building at the Rutland State Fair on August 17.
Sugarmakers have been on the lookout for the pest since it was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014.
The pest is known to attack maple trees as well as many other agricultural fruit crops such as grape, apple, cherry and peach.
Originally from China, the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a colorful, eye-catching invasive insect that has been established in eight other states including CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD, VA, WV and OH.
In a follow up investigation, the Vermont agriculture agency found no other evidence of the insects in the Rutland area, officials said.
The follow-up response by the agency included treatment of the shipment and placement of traps in the area where the truck was unloaded and checking them every two weeks.
Officials also conducted a survey of ¼ mile radius from ground zero, concentrating on locating and searching host trees such as walnuts, willow, and tree of heaven.
“While this is a concerning discovery and we take this development very seriously, we also have no knowledge that this indicates a larger problem in Vermont at this time,” said Cary Giguere, Director of Plant Health and Agriculture Resource Management at VAAFM.
Adult spotted lanternflies are about one-inch long. Adults have grey wings with black spots.
When the spotted lanternfly’s wings are spread, it exposes a bright red underwing.
Vermonters are being asked to keep an eye out for this insect: