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Invasive pests are non-native insects, animals and plants that are introduced into an environment, often with devastating effects. These non-native pests are often accidentally introduced into an environment, and with unintentional human help and few, if any, natural predators, they can spread rapidly. We’re focused on eliminating invasive insects and protecting the plants they threaten, and so can you.
These are some of the most devastating invasive insects in America today. Good stewardship starts with knowing how to identify these pests and recognizing signs of infestation. Learn where they’re currently located, what plants they target, how to report them, and what products kill them. For more information, visit the link for each individual pest.
These small, metallic-green beetles have killed tens of millions of ash trees across 30 states. Their larvae tunnel underneath ash bark, often remaining unnoticed, until it’s too late for your tree. Get more facts from The Arbor Day Foundation.
Voracious eaters, these metallic-green and copper-colored beetles devour over 300 plant species, skeletonizing leaves and defoliating entire plants. When feeding, they give off a pheromone that attracts more Japanese Beetles to your plant. See what the University of Kentucky has to say about these pests.
Is your tree losing its leaves? These caterpillars could be the cause. Recognizable by their dark grey or blue bodies, red spots and long hairs, these eating machines hatch in April and attack a wide variety of trees, including aspen, oak, even conifers.
Both the adults and nymphs of these tiny, winged insects feed on the new shoots of citrus plants, causing extensive damage. But the bigger danger is their ability to spread Citrus Greening Disease, an incurable disease that ruins fruit and is threatening the citrus industry.
These sucking insects from southeast Asia are relatively new to America. Discovered in 2014, they have already spread throughout the Northeast. These planthoppers feed on over 70 types of plants and secrete honeydew, which encourages the growth of sooty mold. Plus they lay egg masses on just about anything, including vehicles. Penn State Extension has more details about these hungry pests.
Federal quarantine areas have been established for many of these invasive insects, but officials need our help. Hotlines and websites make it easy to report a sighting or suspected infestation.
For example: Spotted Lanternflies can be reported here or by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY.
Good stewardship practices can slow or prevent the further spread of invasive insects to new areas. Make sure you:
Japanese Beetles are a three-season threat.
After feeding on your plants in summer, adult Japanese Beetles lay eggs in your lawn which hatch into White Grubs in the fall. These destructive larvae attack your lawn’s roots in fall, go dormant during winter, then return the following spring to feed and pupate into Japanese Beetles which emerge in summer.
Because systemic products are taken up through the roots and into internal tissues, they protect the entire plant to the tip of every leaf. This is especially important in stopping invasive insects that bore under the bark, hide underneath leaves and lay eggs that hatch into barely visible larvae. Many systemic products offer long-lasting, preventative protection, so you can stop an invasive infestation before it starts.
Of course, you want to kill invasive insects. But remember, applying more pesticide doesn’t mean you’ll get more control. Over application can cause other problems like run-off, spray drift and overexposure to non-targeted insects. Always read and follow label instructions to learn the precise amounts of product needed for control. Get more tips on responsible application and disposal.