RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — You might remember hearing about the spotted laternfly, the invasive orange and black bug that impacted plants all over Virginia last summer. This month, the Department of Forestry is offering some new information on how to identify, record and properly get rid of these pests.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that was discovered in Virginia in 2018. The flies feed on the sap of over 100 different species of plants and release a substance called honeydew, which can lead to damaging mold growing on crops. This includes grape vines, which directly impacted Virginia’s wine industry this past summer.

In the summer of 2022, Virginia began a Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine that began in the city of Winchester as well as Clarke, Frederick and Warren counties before spreading across the state. Under the quarantine, the movement of items like lumber and outdoor equipment was limited in high-risk areas.

Residents throughout central and southern Virginia were also encouraged by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to destroy any flies they saw, including by “stomping it, smashing it, or scraping it.”

Now, the Department of Forestry is offering more information on how to not only find and get rid of the flies, but also their eggs.

A February webinar will teach “volunteer community scientists” how to identify spotted lanterflies, how to look for egg masses and how to record data. Presentations will be given by Lori Chamberlin and Katlin DeWitt from the Virginia Department of Forestry, who both specialize in forest health.

The one hour session will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at noon. You can reserve a spot on Eventbrite now.

This training will kick off National Invasive Species Awareness Week in Virginia. The week is a national effort that aims to “raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose and what can be done to prevent their spread.”