RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State agriculture officials say they’ve discovered a new invasive insect in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Thursday that both egg masses and dead adult spotted lanternflies were detected at a stone yard near Winchester last month.
Our inspectors discovered the Spotted Lanternfly in Frederick County near Winchester. This insect feeds on more than 70 plants, including grapes, stone fruits, hops and Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven). https://t.co/qT4lCn5SJQ pic.twitter.com/E9EGkDKxyc— VDACS (@VaAgriculture) February 8, 2018
According to the department, the spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plants and can be a nuisance to homeowners when found in large numbers.
The first U.S. detection of the insect native to China, India and Vietnam was in 2014 at a Pennsylvania business that imports stone products. The department says products from that business went to the Frederick County stone yard.
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the insect in Pennsylvania.