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The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources received a report of the invasive insect known as Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, “SLF”) in Middleborough in October 2021. Spotted lanternfly can easily hitchhike on vehicles or shipments of goods from other states, either as an adult or in egg masses. Inspectors performed an extensive survey at the site and did not find any evidence of SLF activity, but as a precaution we are notifying residents to report any possible sightings.
Spotted lanternfly is an invasive sap-feeding insect from Asia that was first found in the United States in 2014, in the state of Pennsylvania. While the main host plant of this pest is tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), SLF attacks a variety of trees, shrubs, and vines, and has the potential to impact a broad range of agricultural commodities, including grapes and wine, apples, peaches, and maple syrup.
There is no cause for alarm based on this find, but residents are encouraged to report any possible sightings of this pest.
Please view the SLF fact sheet and SLF flyer for more information about the Spotted Lanternfly.