WSDA is asking the public to keep a watch for spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a potentially destructive pest that may have been observed in the Omak region.

Spotted lanternfly (SLF), a native to Asia, attacks primarily grapes, but also has been sighted in other crops such as hops, apples, peach, and other fruit trees. Should it become established in Washington, spotted lanternfly could threaten many Washington iconic crops and result in costly quarantines and increased pesticide use to manage the pest.

Last week, the Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) received a possible sighting of the pest in the Omak area and informed WSDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The possible sighting included a photograph and also mentioned seeing five live specimens. Despite a search of the area, WSDA entomologists could not confirm the report. WSDA is asking the public, especially those in Okanogan County, to examine their trees and other outdoor surfaces for spotted lanternfly adults and egg masses.

Source: WSDA AgBriefs: State entomologists call for public help after possible spotted lanternfly detection