Reston, VA

The Walker Nature Center is urging residents to keep be on the lookout for an invasive insect. Officials in Pennsylvania and other states are urging residents to kill the insect, which is called a Spotted Lanternfly.

“If you find one here, please put it in a ziplock bag and bring it to the nature center,” the center recently tweeted.

The insect has red and block inner wings and outer wings with black spots.

The insect is native to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. It is known to cause major damage to trees, including. Oozing. Sap, wilting, leaf turning and tree dieback, according to officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services established a quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester in late May to slow down the spread of the insect.

Here’s more from state officials:

Spotted Lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, including grapes, apples, stone fruits, hops and Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven), which is its preferred host. It poses a threat to Virginia’s peach, apple, grape and wine industries. Spotted Lanternfly can also be a nuisance pest to homeowners when numbers are high.

The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Winchester in January 2018. Subsequent surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that the pest has become established in the city of Winchester and spread into Frederick County, just north of Winchester. Prior to the January 2018 detection in Virginia, the only Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) found in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania. Populations are now established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and northern Virginia.

The Walker Nature Center is located at 11450 Glade Drive in Reston.

Photo by Ray Copson

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