Farmers in Iowa and across the Midwest are keeping a lookout for an exotic bug that was found in Kansas earlier this month. The spotted lanternfly has bright red hind wings with black spots. Robin Pruisner, with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, says the insect could harm nursery stock and woody plants like trees, shrubs and raspberries.
The state ag department says it beefed up public outreach since the Kansas find. Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis says this pest and its “piercing-sucking mouthparts” feed on sap, which will weaken lots of fruit and woody trees.