Scientists say you should smash this insect if you see it in the Bluegrass

Scientists say the spotted lanternfly is an invasive species.
Scientists say the spotted lanternfly is an invasive species.(University of Kentucky)
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A new insect may soon call Kentucky home, and it’s one we don’t want in the Bluegrass.

Scientists say the spotted lanternfly is an invasive species.

“One of the side effects of their feeding is that they create is what’s called honeydew. It’s a sugary fecal material and it rains down on people that are underneath trees that are infested,” said Jonathan Larson, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky.

Originally from Asia, the insect started its U.S. invasion in Pennsylvania. The insect hasn’t quite made it to Kentucky, just yet.

“The closest infestations we have, to Kentucky, are up in Indiana,” said Larson.

The good news though is the pesky insect only likes certain crops.

“People that are growing Christmas Trees and some of these other types of specialty crops. It’s not going to be a problem for our corn producers or our cattle producers,” said Larson.

If you find the spotted lantern fly in your backyard, Larson says to take a picture of it, report it, and then kill it. Send your spotted lanternfly reports, including pictures to reportapest@uky.edu.

A new insect may soon call Kentucky home, and it’s one we don’t want in the Bluegrass.
A new insect may soon call Kentucky home, and it’s one we don’t want in the Bluegrass.(USDA)