Trees infested with spotted lanternflies found in Shrewsbury

2014
State officials announced that they had identified an infestation of Spotted Lanternflies in Shrewsbury after finding egg masses on a tree near Route 20. (Photo/Via United States Department of Agriculture)

SHREWSBURY – State officials have found spotted lanternfly egg masses on trees near Route 20 and Route 140 in Shrewsbury.

Survey teams from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) were following up on a previous report of a dead lanternfly when they found the masses, according to a message shared with the Community Advocate by Town Manager Kevin Mizikar.

Mizikar told the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 11 that remnants of a lanternfly had been found in town. 

The town announced this new information in a statement this week.

“Now is the time to search for spotted lanternfly egg masses, which are the overwintering life stage of this insect,” the town wrote.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that has devastated agricultural crops in other states, including Pennsylvania. 

Shrewsbury officials said this week that egg masses can be found on any flat surface – such as outdoor furniture, fencing, stones and recreational vehicles – and not only on host plants.

This news comes after the MDAR said last year that they were “investigating the possible presence” of lanternflies in and around Northborough.

A small population of spotted lanternflies was also found in Fitchburg last fall. 

Adult lantern flies are gray and about one inch long with black spots and red underwings.

Younger nymphs are black with white spots while older nymphs are red with black and white spots. 

Anyone who believes they have seen a spotted lanternfly should either take a photo or collect a specimen and contact the department at https://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/spottedlanternfly.html

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