WARNING: This Creepy Invasive Bug is Now Confirmed in Iowa
This is one bug you don't want to see in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, it's been recently spotted in the Hawkeye State.
This summer, Spotted Lanternflies were discovered in one Iowa County, though it's virtually certain they're in other parts of the state as well.
What Makes This Insect So Dangerous For Iowa?
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Spotted Lanternfly (native to China) likely came to the U.S. on cargo carried across the Pacific Ocean and can wreak havoc on our local crops and forests.
Juvenile spotted lanternflies, known as nymphs, and adults prefer to feed on the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but also feed on a wide range of crops and plants, including grapes, apples, hops, walnuts and hardwood trees. The insects suck sap from stems and branches which can weaken and damage the plant. This feeding also leaves behind a sticky, sugary residue called honeydew that attracts other insects and promotes the growth of sooty mold, which can further damage the plant.
-Iowa Department of Natural Resources
As of August 2022, only one sighting of the insect has been confirmed in Dallas County, which is located in the center of the state. Based on that alone, it's almost a certainty that the Spotted Lanternfly is in other parts of Iowa as well.
To learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly and what to do if you spot one, check out this article from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Story Source: Des Moines Register
Story Source: Iowa Department of Natural Resources