July 20, 2024
Plant-destroying lanternflies native to China could spread across the UK, US and Europe
An important factor in predicting where the spotted lanternflies might appear next was measurements of the average temperature.
An important factor in predicting where the spotted lanternflies might appear next was measurements of the average temperature.

Plant-destroying spotted lanternflies are spreading around the globe, a study has warned.

The insects, which are native to China, are a pest to dozens of plants and trees.

They can trigger sap leakage, wilting, leaf curling and dieback and the US Government tells people to kill them on sight.

And a map drawn up by the Department of Agriculture has revealed regions where the bugs are at risk of spreading to next.

The UK has been designated a ‘medium risk’ area, along with much of Eastern Europe, while the eastern US and California are deemed to be high risk, along with parts of France, Portugal, Italy, Russia and Ukraine.

As well as damaging garden plants the lanternflies can ruin farmers’ crops, too, such as almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, grapes and hops.

They also wreck hardwood trees including oaks, walnuts and poplars.

And in addition to causing physical damage, they excrete a sugary substance called honeydew which encourages a mold which is harmful to plants.

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