The invasive insect the US Department of Agriculture told us to kill on sight has now been detected and confirmed in Illinois. Here's what you need to know.

Spotted Lanternfly is Now in Illinois

A spotted lanternfly was identified and detected in Illinois following a report of a sighting earlier this month, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. They were alerted to the potential presence of a lanternfly on September 16th, and two days later they visited the sight.

Specimens were collected and it was confirmed that it was the spotted lanternfly.

This extremely invasive insect is to be killed on sight, and right now is the best time to kill them. The state's agriculture department shared some advice on what to do if you encounter one. (scroll to bottom).

Kill It, Smash It

The spotted lanternfly feeds on a wide variety of plants, especially the tree of heaven, maple trees, and grapes. They're pretty tricky to catch as they're known for moving easily onto wood surfaces and vehicles.

This is not the first time we've been warned about this invasive species, We were told to KILL IT IMMEDIATELY.

The message hasn't changed!

Plant life will never be the same if we keep allowing this species' population to grow. We didn't do enough last year and now the experts are warning that we'll start seeing far more than ever before.

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The Spotted Lanternfly

These flies don't fly very long distances before landing on your favorite tree, your deck, the kids' playground set, or your gazebo and do their own form of 'killing'.

They lay their egg masses on over 70 different types of plants; most at-risk include apple, apricot, peach, maple, oak, walnut, and cherry trees.

This insect is also not native to America.

How Did The Spotted Lanternfly Get to the U.S.

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How experts believe they got here, is why you should be diligent in checking all of your outdoor surfaces. According to a recent story from The Guardian,

Experts believe that spotted lanternflies entered the US in a shipping crate. Native to China, they were first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since spread to at least 14 states.

The only positive about this insect is that it isn't harmful to humans. Regardless of this fact, kill the spotted lanternfly on sight.

Smash it.

Squash it.

Just get rid of it.

The beginning of the fall season is the best time to kill lanternflies because September marks the beginning of the egg-laying season.

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How to Kill Spotted Lanternfly Eggs

If you spot an egg mass, just scrape it with a credit card or something else that has a hard edge. You'll need to press hard enough on the egg mass to make it pop to know you completed the task. You can also toss the eggs into a plastic bag and squirt hand sanitizer on them to kill them or put the bag in the freezer to kill them. Whatever method you use just make sure they don't survive.

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The following was shared by NBC Chicago and it includes some advice on what to do if you encounter the spotted lanternfly:

  • Report sightings - If you see SLF or suspect it, report it to lanternfly@illinois.edu. A fact sheet, including photos, is available through the University of Illinois Extension.
  • Remove and destroy pests – crush nymphs and adults, scrape egg masses into a container with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to kill them. Remember to take photos first, and report this!
  • Check your vehicles, boat, camper, outdoor articles, etc. - Before leaving an area, do a quick inspection for any life stages. Destroy any eggs or insects found.
  • Keep your eyes open and spread the word (not the pest) – We need the public’s help to look for and report this pest, and to also strengthen the outreach about it. It will likely impact everyone in Illinois one way or another, so the more awareness we have the better.

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More Spotted Lanternfly Resources

Illinois' environment is inviting to the spotted lanternfly, so it's only a matter of time before their population grows.

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