GRAFTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — An extremely invasive species that was previously only in West Virginia’s Northern and Eastern panhandles has made its way to north central West Virginia.
The City of Grafton announced on Wednesday that the spotted lanternfly has been confirmed in Grafton and Taylor County. The species is originally from Vietnam, China and India and is considered a “nuisance pest” in the eastern United States, according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA).
Because it is invasive and has the potential to infest more than 70 native plant species in West Virginia, officials say that the spotted lanternfly should be killed on sight. If you are able, the WVDA recommends getting photos and the precise location where the bug was spotted before killing it; the information can be sent to email@example.com.
A WVDA map updated on Aug. 10 shows the spotted lanternfly has been confirmed in eight West Virginia counties, but Taylor is the only central country on the map. It was first confirmed in West Virginia in Berkeley County four years ago.
For more information on the spotted lanternfly in West Virginia, visit the WVDA’s website.