SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) – The Illinois Department of Agriculture has detected an invasive species of bug in Illinois.
According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, officials with local, state and federal agencies have located a moderately populated area of spotted lantern flies. A mature adult lantern fly was found on Sept. 16, and 10 days later, the identification was confirmed.
The insect poses no health harm to humans or animals, the agriculture department said.
“If there is a silver lining associated with spotted lantern fly in Illinois, it is that we have no reason to believe that widespread plant or tree death will result from its presence,” said Scott Schirmer, the department’s section manager for its nursery and northern field office. “This is likely going to be a nuisance pest that interferes with our ability to enjoy outdoor spaces and may have some impact on the agritourism industry, including orchards, pumpkin patches, and vineyards.”
The invasive insect is native to eastern Asia and was first spotted in the U.S. in 2014. It started in Pennsylvania and has since spread around the eastern U.S. and into Midwestern states, including Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
It feeds on a wide variety of plants, including maple trees, wild and cultivated grapes and the invasive tree of heaven. When feeding, the bugs produce honeydew, which is a sticky liquid that often coats or accumulates on the foliage and other parts of plants.