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Spotted lanternflies could invade Michigan, experts warn

Invasive species feeds on specific plants

Experts are warning Michigan residents about the invasive spotted lanternfly.

The lanternflies are native to southeast Asia but they're making their way across the east coast. Lanternflies in Pennsylvania seem to be attracted to plants that Michiganders cherish such as wine grapes, cherries and hops.

Experts believe the spotted lanternflies could arrive in Michigan on vehicles. The insects tend to lay eggs on cars.

Read more: What to know about invasive spotted lanternflies

Michigan DNR: Spotted lanternfly on watch list

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants residents to report spotted lanternfly sightings.

If you see suspect adult or immature spotted lanternflies, take pictures if possible, record the location, try to collect them in a container and report it. If you see suspect egg masses or other signs and symptoms, do not disturb them. 

Take photos if possible, note the location and report it to:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDA-Info@michigan.gov or phone the MDARD Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939.

Spotted lanternfly (Michigan DNR)

From the Michigan DNR:

Why we care:

Spotted lanternfly is an invasive planthopper that causes damage directly by sucking sap from host plants, and indirectly due to mold that grows on honeydew excretions that can inhibit plant growth and cause death.

What is at risk?

Spotted lanternfly poses a great threat to the fruit, hops, nursery, landscape and logging industries. Some fruit hosts include apples, plums, cherries and grapes. Tree hosts include oak, willow, maple and sycamore.

The threat:

Spotted lanternfly populations are known to be present in areas of Pennsylvania and several other states. Egg masses are difficult to identify and can be transported to new areas on outdoor furniture, vehicles or other objects.

What could happen in Michigan?

Spotted lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of MIchigan businesses and agriculture.


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.