WELLESLEY, MASS. (WHDH) - Officials have asked residents to be on the lookout after an infestation of the invasive spotted lanternfly was confirmed in Wellesley. 

The town of Wellesley in a statement Wednesday said the infestation was documented near Carisbrooke Reservation in town. 

In Wellesley and beyond, state and local officials are now asking individuals to report any additional infestations.

“Snap a picture of it, send it our way, we’re always happy to look at things and help people identify them,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barnes of the state Department of Agricultural Resources.

“I usually say, as soon as you see it, get a picture,” Barnes said. “Don’t try and get closer because you might startle it. Just get that picture immediately.”

The spotted lanternfly is identifiable by spots on its upper wings and red markings on its underside. The insect was first introduced to the US in 2014 and can seriously damage local agriculture as it feeds on more than 100 species of plants. 

While falling temperatures are expected to kill lanternflies in Massachusetts this fall, their eggs can survive the winter. 

Among recommendations, experts say anyone who finds a cluster of lanternfly eggs should soak the eggs in hand sanitizer to kill them.

The spotted lanternfly infestation in Wellesley is not the first of its kind in Massachusetts, with multiple other infestations previously documented. 

See more information on the spotted lanternfly and report any lanternfly sightings through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources website.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox