Step Aside Gypsy Moths, There’s a New Bug in Town

by Bill Tracy

The next bug infestation: Spotted lanternflies.

Have you seem them yet? If not, you probably will in the next few years.

The Winchester region is already a quarantine area. Prince William County has them. Yesterday someone found a dead one in Fairfax County — in a grocery-store produce shipment.

I had never heard of them until I visited friends in Delaware last week.  A maple tree in the front lawn had colony of them on the bark.

The critters look a little like a moth, but when you squish them (recommended policy) they have red under wings. Upon stimulating the live bugs with a finger, they energetically leap several feet, which may account for why they spread so fast.

First discovered in eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, they are now spreading throughout southern PA, Maryland, Delaware and now areas of northern Virginia. They are invasive pests from overseas. The bugs, native to Southeast Asia, have spread to other parts of the world.

Authorities say the bugs represent a threat to Virginia’s apple, grape and wine industries.

Here is a good article and video from WUSA9-TV about problem. Citizens are asked to help stop the spread of this new bug.

Bill Tracy is a retired engineering residing in Northern Virginia.