PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: SEARCH YOUR CAR FOR THESE INSECTS BEFORE LEAVING BRF AND IMMEDIATELY SQUISH IF YOU FIND THEM!!!!!!
The invasive insect spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found within Black Rock Forest. This pest has the potential to do serious ecological and economic damage to the region. While its preferred host is the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), it will also feed on a myriad of other native species (maple, oak, walnut and more) as well as economically valuable plant species such as fruit trees (apple, pear, etc.) and grape vines. These insects feed by sucking the sap out of the plant which weakens the plant and takes away the necessary food reserves the plant is making for itself. The wounds left by the insect weep sap and can attract other harmful species such as fungus and other sap eating critters, thereby further damaging the plant.
This insect is an adept hitchhiker and is most often transported long-distances by people. They lay their eggs in the fall on a just about any outdoor surface such as cars, boats, trailers, lawn furniture and more. In order to stop the spread and to limit the number of insects coming into BRF we ask that all visitors check their cars before coming to and leaving BRF. See the below links on more information about this newly introduced pest.