BOSTON (WPRI) — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is urging residents, particularly those who recently purchased trees or shrubs, to be on the lookout for an invasive species.
The MDAR said trees with spotted lanternfly egg masses on them may have been accidentally shipped into the commonwealth from other states.
Residents who recently had trees or shrubs planted on their properties should inspect their trunks and branches for any potential egg masses or “hitchhiking nymphs,” or baby spotted lanternflys.
Landscapers and nurseries have also been reminded to keep an eye out for them as well.
“The spotted lanternfly is a tricky pest to deal with, because it can be so challenging to detect before it becomes established,” MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “With the potential impact of this pest on grape and hop growers, as well as pick-your-own orchards and other parts of the agritourism industry, we are asking anyone with newly planted trees to check them for signs … so that we can limit the spread of this pest in our state.”
Anyone who spots an egg mass on their property is urged to report it to the MDAR immediately.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses are typically about an inch-and-a-half long and gray in color, according to the MDAR. The egg masses are also flat, making them difficult to detect on tree bark.
This may mean some egg masses will go unnoticed, which is why the MDAR is urging everyone to be on the lookout for any nymphs that hatch in late May or early June.