The spotted lanternfly might look pretty with its red wings and black dots. But the mothlike insect is causing big problems in the United States. Experts are telling people to take action against the pest.
“Kill it! Squash it, smash it . . . just get rid of it.” That’s what the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says to do if you see one. The spotted lanternfly is native to Asia. In the U.S., it’s an invasive species. The bugs were found in Pennsylvania in 2014. They have now spread to at least nine states.
Spotted lanternflies are not dangerous to humans. But they can cause serious harm to plants. They suck sap from trees and release a sticky substance after they feed. This causes mold to grow on plants.