Are Spotted Lanternflies a Threat to Colorado Crops?
Spotted lanternflies have recently been causing major destruction to fruit crops and trees in at least 13 states throughout the country, but do Coloradans have to worry about this invasive species affecting crops in the Centennial State?
According to Good Morning America, these plant-hopping insects feed on the sap from stems, leaves, crops, and trees and then excrete a honeydew-like substance that can lead to damaging black mold. In many cases, this causes severe damage to the plant. The bugs have been known to feed on 70 different kinds of plants.
Not only do spotted lanternflies negatively impact trees and plants, but they also tend to leave their messy substance all over outdoor furniture, and nobody likes to have to clean that up. In Pennsylvania alone, these bugs have already caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Lanternflies originally came from Asia and were first observed in America in 2014. They travel by hitching rides on trucks, cars, trains, and boats, which is how they've spread to so many states since their entry into the country. Residents and those visiting states where lanternflies have been found are being told to inspect their vehicles and outdoor items for the invasive insects and to kill them if seen. It's also a good idea to report the sighting to the local government so that they can track the bugs' locations.
Unfortunately, an article from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel explains that it's just a matter of time before these bugs make their way to Colorado. Because Colorado is such a popular tourist destination, there's a good chance that lanternflies could attach themselves or lay eggs on a vehicle that travels into the state.