4 Invasive Pest Species You Need To Be Aware Of
When new invasive species enter the US ecosystem, the effects can be unpredictable. These species often do not have any predators in their new environments, which allows their populations to expand rapidly across the country. In this article, we’re going to cover the 4 invasive species that you need to be aware of currently in the US.
- Asian Longhorned Ticks
The Asian longhorned tick was first spotted in 2017 in New Jersey, and it is particularly dangerous because it can spread disease to both humans and livestock. They are also able to multiply very rapidly because the females do not need males to reproduce. In Asia, they have been found to spread the Khasan virus, the Powassan virus, Japanese spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme. This tick is also known for spreading Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome which is deadly in 15% of those infected.
- Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA)
RIFAs are a species native to Brazil and they were first identified on US soil in 1933 in Alabama. Since then, they have spread throughout the southern and western US states and they are known to attack any humans that threaten or disturb their nests. RIFAs commonly reach new geographic areas when they are transported in potted trees, shrubs or other plants. The name “fire ant” comes from their painful bite that creates welts with white pustules. They can also trigger an allergic reaction. RIFAs will usually stay outdoors, but they have been known to infest structures through AC units and HVAC systems.
- Spotted Lanternflies
The spotted lanternfly was first reported in 2014 in Pennsylvania, and the species has spread since then to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. These insects threaten several industries including the logging, fruit tree and grape industry, because they feed on sap. They will reproduce by laying egg masses on trees, rocks and even outdoor furniture. If you see one of these egg masses on your property, they need to be scraped off and disposed of in a sealed double bag.
- Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
This invasive species originates from Asia, and it was first spotted in the US in 1996 in the state of Pennsylvania. Since then it has spread to 44 other states. While not particularly dangerous, they are a major nuisance to have in the home, since they will release a stench when they are crushed. They will usually enter the home during winter in order to seek shelter, and they will hide in walls, crawl spaces and attics. When spring comes around, they will become active and start to emerge inside the home.
What to do if you spot an invasive species infestation?
If you notice any of the insects described above, or if you suspect that a particular insect may not be a part of your local ecosystem, make sure to contact a pest control professional who will come and handle the infestation.