Spotted Lanternfly has Spread to Illinois
The invasive species could threaten trees and crops
Illinois is the latest state to find invasive spotted lanternflies, an winged insect that’s spreading across the eastern U.S. and is subject to squish-on-sight requests in New York and elsewhere.
First detected in the U.S. nearly a decade ago, the hitchhiking pest and its eggs have been getting rides on vehicles and trains as they expand from southeast Pennsylvania across the country.
Although the inch-long planthopper looks pretty with its distinctive black spots and bright red wing markings, the sap-sucking bug likes to mass and feed on plants. It then excretes a sticky, sugary waste, called "honeydew," that attracts insects and a form of sooty mold that can finish off the already weakened plants, posing a danger to crops and native trees. The gunk can also collect houses, decks and outdoor furniture.
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