The infestation of a colorful but costly insect has come to its one-year anniversary in Pennsylvania and residents are encouraged to help slow its spread.

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State agriculture officials say the spotted lanternfly is laying its eggs now so residents are asked to scrape the masses, that look like splotches of mud, from trees, lawn furniture, cars and other surfaces outdoors in order to try reduce the number of new insects hatching next season.

The red, white and black winged pests have the potential to cause billions of dollars worth of damage to apples, peaches, timber, hops and especially grapes.

The insect has not been reported to be a big problem in New York yet but the range has been expanding northward into New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as appearing in Delaware and Virginia.

Environmental officials began spreading the alarm about the spotted lanternfly invasion early last year.

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