New invasive insect discovered in Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – State agriculture officials say they’ve discovered a new invasive insect in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Thursday that both egg masses and dead adult spotted lanternflies were detected at a stone yard near Winchester last month.

According to the department, the spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plants and can be a nuisance to homeowners when found in large numbers.

The first U.S. detection of the insect native to China, India and Vietnam was in 2014 at a Pennsylvania business that imports stone products. The department says products from that business went to the Frederick County stone yard.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the insect in Pennsylvania.

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