We've got a nasty bug that is making its way into our state and it's got a thing for a certain tree. It’s the lantern fly and it has a favorite hangout, the Tree of Heaven. Here's what you need to know.

The lantern fly is about an inch long, greyish with dark spots, and its wings are red, black, and white. They hatch around April-May and grow up to be colorful, which changes as they get older. The eggs are usually in clusters on the tree bark, but easy to miss because they're a grey-brown color.

Why are we worried about this bug? It's a sap-sucker, and that's bad news for our trees, especially the tree of heaven. This tree, originally from Asia, is smooth with grey bark and large leaves. Beware, because if you crush the leaves or stems, get ready for a funky smell. Believe it or not but this tree is the spot for those lantern flies.

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If you ever come across these trees or any lantern flies, don't ignore the, report it! There are apps and hotlines to make it easy for you to let other people that need to know what’s going on know.

The key is to catch them early before the lantern flies get too comfortable in the tree of heaven.. If we do that then we stand a good chance of keeping the lantern fly population in check. That means pulling them out while they're still young.

For more local insights about the tree of heaven and how to tackle invasive species, check out GoBroomeCounty.

The Beautiful Spotted Lanternfly is a Devil In Disguise...

What to know about the spotted lanternfly and the tree of heaven

This is especially important now since the Spotted Lanternfly appears to be spreading to more parts of the East Coast. The tree of heaven is a very likely place to find those egg masses come fall.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

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