YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is a “bad bug” spreading through Pennsylvania.
The spotted lanternfly is killing crops and trees in the Keystone State and could be moving toward Ohio.
The bug hitchhiked over from China and Vietnam. The first time it was spotted in the northeast United States was in 2014. Since then, it has spread to 14 states and Pennsylvania.
The spotted lantern fly is a large insect about an inch wide with red and brown spotted wings. It is killing crops and causing tree damage to our naturally occurring plants.
Scientists are finding ways to fight it by quarantining the counties and telling residents to kill any they find and use pesticides.
There hasn’t been any sign of the bugs here in the Valley or in Ohio. It has been found and quarantined in mostly the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania, but experts say it is something you need to be aware of because it loves the kind of crops that grow here.
Conferences are being held cross Ohio and Pennsylvania educating farmers about the insect.
Eric Barrett, an educator at the Ohio State University Extension Office in Mahoning County said the spotted lanternfly has targeted popular crops such as apples, grapes, hops, and maple and walnut trees.
“Anytime there is an invasive insect that we know about, that we know it is within a few hundred miles from our area, we should be concerned,” Barrett said. “The big thing is just have that concern and be alert.”
Barrett said if you see a strange bug you should kill it, put it in the freezer and bring it to the Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, 490 S. Board St., Canfield or call (330) 533-5538 for more information.