WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — After a spotted lanternfly was recently discovered in West Seneca, town officials want people to be on the lookout for this invasive bug.

Originally from Asia, these pests feed on a wide variety of plants, including grapevine, hops, maple, walnuts and fruit trees. The first instance of a spotted lanternfly being found in the United States occurred in 2014, in Pennsylvania, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

It has since been seen in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and even here in New York. The first known infestation in this state was on Staten Island in 2020.

Known to cause lots of damage to crops, the spotted lanternfly recently seen here was found near Sunshine Park. Current infestation locations in the northeast can be found at this link.

Anyone who sees one is asked to email spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.