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Pinpointing a pest: West Virginia growers on alert for new invasive bug

By CHRISTINE SNYDER

Spirit of Jefferson

State agriculture officials have issued an alert after the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species native to China, India and Vietnam, was discovered in Virginia.
(Submitted photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture want farmers, orchardists and others to be on alert for the spotted lanternfly, a colorful invasive Asian pest that’s tied to mold growth that can kill plants and trees.

Susan Parker, the WVDA’s agricultural pest survey programs specialist, is asking anyone who spots a spotted lanternfly to email the location where the creature was found and even snapshots if possible to the WVDA’s new Bugbusters hotline, [email protected] or to call the department’s Plant Industries Division at 304-558-2212.

“We are hopeful that with early detection and effective control measures, we can stay ahead of the insect population,” Parker said.

The alert went out after the insect was discovered in Virginia in January.

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