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Help stop spotted lanternfly before it enters Colorado

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — With the news that the spotted lanternfly has been found in Iowa, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is launching a new informational website to help teach Coloradans and visitors to our state about how to identify and eradicate the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF). The website can be accessed at ag.colorado.gov/slf.

“The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that could decimate Colorado’s signature crops like peaches, grapes, hops, and more than 70 other species of plants,” said Rich Guggenheim, Ph.D, Plant Health Certification program manager. “The spotted lanternfly is a notorious hitchhiker and Coloradans as well as travelers visiting our state should know what to look for to stop this invasive and destructive pest before it enters our state.”

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is native to Asia and was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. SLF is currently found in 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.



Once introduced, the spotted lanternfly is a serious pest with a high reproductive capacity and large host range. The pest is extremely mobile and spreads easily both through physically hopping and laying egg masses on things such as cars, trucks, trailers, moving pods and railcars. While no spotted lanternfly sightings have been confirmed in Colorado yet, CDA is asking Coloradans and visitors to our state to keep an eye out for the spotted lanternfly and inspect their vehicles before entering the state.

Anyone who sees an egg mass or live spotted lanternflies should immediately report the sighting to the Colorado Department of Agriculture at ag.colorado.gov/slf, by uploading a photo and providing exact location details. Members of the public can also email cda_slf@state.co.us or call (303) 869-9081.



The primary host for SLF is tree of heaven, an invasive tree in Colorado. However SLF can cause irreparable damage to grapevines and other crops, including peach trees, hops, and vineyards, by feeding on plant sap. The insect secretes a sticky residue called “honeydew” which also attracts wasps, and causes “sooty mold” to grow on surfaces, covering the plant, forest understories, patio furniture, cars, and anything else found below SLF feeding. In states where the spotted lanternfly has spread, the most damage to-date has been observed in vineyards, ornamental nurseries, and people’s backyards.

Travelers, visitors, truck drivers and anyone else moving a vehicle, recreational equipment, shipping and moving containers, or any conveyance into or out of Colorado should be on the lookout for any life stages of the lanternfly. Additionally, farmers, especially those growing peaches, grapes, and hops and landscapers and municipal arborists should be on the lookout for egg masses as well as trees of heaven, an invasive plant that is a favorite of the spotted lanternfly.

CDA’s new informational website (ag.colorado.gov/slf) contains more details about the insect and a reporting form where Coloradans are encouraged to report sightings to the Colorado Agricultural Pest Survey.


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