There are certain warning signs of Spring that you might have trouble. One is to see a tree in Missouri that is oozing sap. That could be a sign that a vicious invasive insect is present and causing issues for the ecosystem that could have bad consequences for much more than just the trees in your neighborhood.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has a warning site about a bug to watch out for. The scientific name is Lycorma delicatula. Translation for simple minds like mine? It's the spotted lanternfly.

How can you know that you have spotted lanternflies in your Missouri neighborhood?

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that "wilting leaves, sap oozing from trunks, dead branches, and sooty mold" are a sure sign that you have one of these villainous bugs causing the issue.

The damage these invasive insects can do in Missouri is almost unlimited. The food supply through crop damage, fruit and nut trees are just a few of the troubles the spotted lanternfly can bring. They feed on 70 species of plants that are native to Missouri.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service says to check any belongings you have before you travel to make sure none of these insects travel with you. Making sure you don't help these villains spread is vital. Vinegar can kill them on contact if you believe spotted lanternflies are on your property.

It's that time of year when keeping an eye on your trees and other plants can be vital in stopping a potential problem from becoming a crisis.

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