lanternI started hearing the warnings about a year ago, but I never saw any. And the spotted lanternfly would be hard to miss because it's actually a very beautiful insect. It's too bad they should be destroyed.

The Spotted Lanternfly Has Made Its Way to Kentucky

Yes, it was roughly 12 months ago when I was seeing reports about this pest being in the southern United States, but now we have confirmation they have arrived. It's Gallatin County where the lanternfly was "spotted." Ouch.

Anyway, the havoc these things can wreak is borderline devastating. Here's what one pest control expert says about the destruction the spotted lanternfly can cause:

Spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of plants. This includes trees, shrubs, and vines. Some of their favorite foods are grapes, apples, peaches, and cherries. When they feed on these plants, they can cause extensive damage. Their feeding can also lead to the plant producing less fruit.

Feeding on the sap can severely weaken or even kill the plant from which the creature has eaten. The spotted lanternfly is a native of China where they've done billions of dollars worth of damage. And while Kentucky just had its first sighting, these things have been proliferating everywhere across the eastern U.S. over the last few months.

What We Can Do About Spotted Lanternflies

Because spotted lanternflies are no poisonous and don't bite or sting humans, folks might not bat an eye if they see one other than to note how striking they are. But "STRIKING" them is highly recommended. Or squashing or swatting or spraying. There are other things you can do, as well.

How to Spot Spotted Lanternfly Eggs

As far as that egg scraping goes, you'll need to know what to look for because it may not be what you think. Their eggs just look like blotches on a tree.

They've also "joined forces" with another invasive species that causes major headaches. It's a plant known as the "tree-of-heaven."

I'm not sure what plants are left for a spotted lanternfly to destroy, but if they've laid their eggs and those eggs haven't been scraped, Lord knows what Kentucky and the eastern United States are in for next spring.

[SOURCE: WHAS11-Louisville]

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