The spotted lanternfly, considered a threat to the logging industry, is poised to spread further in the U.S. this spring.
Native to China, India and Vietnam, the lanternfly has no known predators in the U.S. and has shown itself to be harmful to hardwoods, according to The Washington Post.
The colorful, speckled insect was first confirmed to be in Pennsylvania in 2014, where it has caused headaches ever since. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture declared it a threat to its timber and wood industry production.
After lanternfly sightings in Delaware, New York and Virginia, Maryland is bracing for the likely invasion of the problematic insect, which appears to have caused more damage in less time than any other invasive insect, according to the Post.
The lanternfly goes through five stages of development, and by adulthood it is roughly 1.5 inch long and 1 inch wide.
The lanternfly is known to be a prominent hitchhiker, attaching onto the bottoms of cars and trucks.
The U.S. Agriculture Department allocated $5.5 million to Pennsylvania researchers to study ways to manage the insect and will provide an additional $17.5 million in funding.
Researchers are using genetic markers to determine the location of origin of the lanternfly in China in order to discover native predators.