Bad Bug The invasive insect, the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has recently been confirmed to be present in Orange County by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). This confirmation was initiated by a sample submission from the public to the local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Orange. From there, the specimen was then formally submitted to the Insect Identification Lab at Virginia Tech, where Virginia Tech then forwarded the specimen on to VDACS. VDACS officially confirmed the submitted specimen to be that of an adult Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). This marks the first, formally identified specimen of the pest in the County of Orange. Based on VDACS surveys it appears that the populations of the insects found in Orange County are an extension of existing populations that have already been confirmed in the Town of Culpeper. VDACS plans to begin work in our area, communicating with businesses and homeowners to find populations and to provide information and outreach. The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive species native to China that was first detected in the United States in Pennsylvania in September of 2014. SLF was first discovered in Virginia in 2018 and has since been expanding its territory through both natural and human assisted movement. The pest prefers Tree of Heaven as its host, but will feed on over 100 other plants including apple, peach, and cherry trees, grape vines, and many more. Spotted Lanternflies are invasive and can be spread long distances by the movement of infested material or other items containing egg masses. If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country ’ s grape, orchard, and logging industries. By: Courtney Wesner, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension
What can you do at this time?
• First, educate yourself. Know what you are looking for and be able to successfully identify “ look - alike ” egg masses and insects.
https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant - industry - services - spotted - lanternfly.shtml https://ext.vt.edu/agriculture/commercial - horticulture/spotted - lanternfly.html
• Kill any SLF you find! Stomp, squash, squish, squeeze, slap, spray, scrape, smash. They all work. This invasive pest is a much larger problem than any one (1) or two (2) agencies alone can tackle. It is going to take all of us! Join the effort and kill SLF when you find them. • Continue to report sightings to Orange County VCE by taking a picture or submitting a sample of SLF , only after you have killed them and whenever possible . • Orange County is currently not a part of the quarantine area established by VDACS at this time. With that being said, continue to educate yourself and look for updates as they are passed down by VDACS on the matter of SLF in our area.
Page 18 | November, 2022
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