Photo courtesy of Prince William County
Environmental experts are addressing a forest pest.
The spotted lanternfly has been seen in Prince William County, according to a release from the county.
“We have identified one location where they showed up,” Prince William County Department of Public Works’ Environmental Program Manager Nate Nagle. “The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and United States Department of Agriculture is on location to delimit where the population is, and they are actively taking steps to manage the population.”
Early on, they eat the soft wooden parts on a tree.
“As they get older, they’re able to actually pierce at the base of the tree,” Nagle explained. “You can get thousands of adults feeding on one tree. It is almost like a leech taking all the blood out of your body. That’s what they’re doing to trees, just draining that constant sap source.”
Spotted lanternflies feed on the tree of haven, which came from China to the United States in the 1700s, and 70 additional types of trees. This may result in tree damage or death.
The eggs are transported by various items, including firwood, pallets and stones.
Traps have been set up in areas that are heavily traveled, and other sites are being watched.
To view photos of the spotted lanternfly, visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) website.
Those who see the pest may set up traps or reach out to environmental services by calling 703-792-6279 or going to its webpage.
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