Spotted Lanternfly

People in Ontario are being told to kill an invasive bug on sight

The spotted lanternfly may look like a cool, rare bug from Animal Crossing, but you should probably splat it on sight, according to federal guidelines.

Over 70 species of plants and trees are at risk of being targeted by this invasive red-eyed insect. It has not been detected in Canada yet, but it does call a few US states home.

As per Ontario Parks, Canada is severely at risk, sharing a border with the US.

If this Chinese native species comes to Canada, our fruit orchards, maple syrup industry, and vineyards could be uprooted. All of these combined have an annual worth of over $530 billion.

Spotted Lanternfly

Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

Those camping out in the US could risk bringing the spotted lanternfly to Canada, and so, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a few warnings.

Transporting firewood across a significant distance is probably not a good idea. That’s where the bug lays its eggs. As they grow old, they practically hollow out trees of their sap.

Spotted Lanternfly

itchydogimages/CFIA

The CFIA says that spotted lanternflies are found in agricultural, residential, industrial, and forested areas, so you should really check and clean all your outdoor items and recreational gear, including grills, lawn furniture, yard games, tents, hiking boots, and backpacks.

The Canadian Council on Invasive Species has created a life cycle chart to help you recognize this threat in all its stages.

Spotted Lanternfly

Canada Invasives

It is currently egg season for the spotted lanternfly. If you see any eggs that look like those in the image above, scrape them off and destroy them with rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or soapy water.

"Destroy nymphs and adults by crushing them," instructs the CFIA, adding that you should add any samples you find in a sealable container and give them to the agency to inspect.

Lead photo by

Jennifer Dries


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