HOLYOKE — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has issued the following alert regarding an infestation of a nuisance insect:
The Department of Agricultural Resources recently confirmed an infestation of the invasive insect known as spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula or “SLF”) in the City of Holyoke. It is not clear how this pest got to Holyoke, and we do not yet know the extent of the infestation.
Spotted lanternfly is a pest that attacks tree-of-heaven, grapes, maple trees, hops vines, and many other types of plants. While there is concern that spotted lanternfly could impact grape/wine producers and other agricultural commodities in our state, there is also the potential of this pest interfering with outdoor activities when infestations reach elevated levels, due to the swarming behavior of adult SLF in late summer and fall. That said, the insects themselves do not bite or sting — they are a nuisance because they gather in large numbers in areas where people are, and cover anything they are on with a sticky, sugary waste product known as honeydew.
State and federal surveyors will be in the city over the next several weeks, checking trees in the area. Residents and businesses are asked to report any possible sightings of this pest by linking to the state’s SLF fact sheet (https://massnrc.org/pests/slf).