Green Guide

Invasive insect found at Oregon nursery could pose threat

Posted October 9, 2020 1:41 p.m. EDT

— A dead spotted lanternfly, a destructive and invasive insect species, has been found at an Oregon nursery, state agricultural officials said.

The dead lanternfly was found in a shipment sent from Pennsylvania to Corvallis, Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said Thursday. The nursery reported the finding to state officials.

“We are grateful to the nursery for alerting us about their discovery,” the agency's Helmuth Rogg said in a press release. "The spotted lanternfly could become a serious pest here in the Pacific Northwest and we want to prevent it from coming to Oregon in the first place.”

The species poses a serious threat to tree fruit and grape production, and has become a “serious pest” for grapevines in South Korea. Grapes and fruit trees are both important crops in Oregon; grapes used for wine have been valued more than $238 million in 2019, ODA said.

Spotted lanternflies eat more than 70 plant species including apples, hops, chestnuts and cherries. The spotted lanternfly was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014 and it is believed to have arrived on shipments from China. Since then it has been detected in 11 eastern states.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.