Environmentalists are asking Hudson Valley residents to look out for an "invasive pest from Asia."

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asked the public to report any sightings of a spotted lanternfly. This invasive species feeds on over 70 plant species like maple, grapevine and hops, making the plants vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects.

"New York's annual yield of apples and grapes, with a combined value of $358.4 million, could be impacted," the DEC said on its website. "The full extent of economic damage this insect could cause is unknown at this time."

According to the DEC, spotted lanternflies are at first black with white spots before turning red when they become adults. They start to appear as early and April and begin to appear as adults in July. They are one inch long with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are gray and black, hindwings red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe.

Adults lay eggs on nearly anything from trunks, roots, firewood, furniture and even cars. The spotted lanternfly is originally from Asia but has recently arrived in the northeastern parts of the United States.

If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York the DEC asks you to take the following steps:

  • Take pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs and email to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.
  • Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.)

You can also report the infestation to iMapInvasives 

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