SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is warning residents of yet another spotted lanternfly sighting, almost one year after the invasive species was first detected in Rhode Island.
The state’s second spotted lanternfly sighting was reported in Smithfield, according to the DEM, though it’s unclear where exactly in the town the bug was found.
The invasive species was first spotted in Warwick in August 2021.
While the spotted lanternfly has established populations in other states, there is no known population in the Warwick area.
The spotted lanternfly can be extremely destructive, according to the DEM, since it targets a wide variety of plants, trees and crops.
Even though the spotted lanternfly has wings and can travel on its own, the DEM said the invasive species typically spreads through its “inconspicuous egg masses.”
The spotted lanternfly’s eggs typically latch onto trees, but can also be found on picnic tables, wooden pallets and firewood.
Anyone who believes they’ve spotted the invasive species should report it to the DEM immediately.