ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — State officials are urging New Yorkers to be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly egg masses over the winter.

The invasive insect hasn’t been found in New York yet, but it has been found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The spotted lanternfly made its way over to Pennsylvania from its native Asia five years ago, causing concern ever since.

Several Jersey City residents reported sightings in October. Officials with the city’s Parks Department are worried the bug could wipe out its already fragile urban forestry.

RELATED STORY: Jersey City Asks Residents For Help Getting Rid Of Spotted Lanternflies

The insects are devastating to trees and crops such as grapes and hops. They lay eggs in the fall on surfaces including vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture and campers. That allows them to hitch a ride to new areas.

Egg masses are an inch long and often smooth and brownish gray with a shiny, waxy coating.

The state departments of environmental conservation and agriculture are urging the public to inspect outdoor items and report any egg masses to DEC.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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