Albemarle County: Your help needed to spot the spotted lanternfly

spotted lanternfly
Adult spotted lanternfly on a building in downtown Winchester. Photo courtesy of Mark Sutphin, Frederick Virginia Cooperative Extension.

An invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly has been discovered in Albemarle County along the Rivanna River.

The spotted lanternfly is an agricultural pest that attacks over 70 species of trees and is a significant threat to vineyards and orchards.

“Early detection is really important – the sooner we can identify new locations, the sooner we can enlist professionals to trap and control the insects, and hopefully contain the outbreak. This could significantly slow down the spread of the insects and help mitigate impacts to natural resources and our local economy,” Albemarle County Natural Resources Manager Kim Biasiolli said.

Learn how to identify and safely remove Tree of Heaven from your property with this fact sheet from the Blue Ridge Prism. Tree of Heaven is an invasive tree that is the preferred food source of Spotted Lanternfly. Removing it preemptively has been shown to reduce insect egg masses by 75%, so that could greatly reduce its spread and impact to our county.

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