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The University of Rhode Island Biocontrol Lab
The University of Rhode Island Biocontrol Lab

Biocontrol News

RIDEM has begun applying insecticide treatments along Douglas Pike in Smithfield, RI to combat recent spotted lanternfly infestation. 

On September 21, 2022 the RIDEM began applying Bifenthrin to areas infested with spotted lanternfly in Smithfield, RI. Bifenthrin is an EPA approved insecticide which kills SLF on contact.  The insecticide will only be applied to trees with “substantial numbers of adult lanternflies.”

More information can be found in the RIDEM press release

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) confirmed on August 22, 2022 that a spotted lanternfly (SLF) population has been detected for the first time in the state, in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The press release can be found here

Spotted lanternfly are invasive in the United States and native to Asia. They were first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted lanternfly feed on over 100 different species of plants including many important agricultural crops such as grapes stone fruits, hops, and apples. Feeding by SLF causes stress to the plant, and in vineyards can lead to severe damage and reduced yield.

The RIDEM is asking Rhode Islanders to be on the lookout for SLF. If spotted, kill the insect immediately. Then, use the button below to report the sighting and include a photo, if possible. 

Spot, Squash, Send Sightings!

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Please visit out spotted lanternfly page for more information about this pest! 

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  • Successful Biological Control of the Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilii

    URI researchers Lisa Tewksbury and Dick Casagrande are co-authors, along with Naomi Cappuccino of Carleton University, of a new book chapter on the Successful biological control of the lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii). This chapter, published in the 2022 USFS book, “Contributions of Classical Biological Control to U.S. Food Security, Forestry, and Biodiversity”, outlines the history of […]

  • Emerald Ash Borer Biocontrol: NRI Now News

    NRI Now News recently covered biocontrol efforts to control emerald ash borer (EAB) by the URI Biocontrol Lab. Alana Russell and Saffron Zaniewski visited the Edward Vock Conservation Area to release Spathius galinae, a parasitic wasp which attacks EAB. The article can be found here. For more information about emerald ash borer, visit our EAB […]

  • Beech Leaf Disease Statement by Heather Faubert

    First discovered in Ashaway, RI in 2020, beech leaf disease (BLD) has quickly spread throughout Washington, Newport, Kent, and Providence county. Heather Faubert, director of the URI Plant Protection Clinic, has been surveying BLD since its discovery. She released a statement May 27th describing what is currently known about the disease, which can be found here. 

  • Release of Hypena opulenta

    The University of Rhode Island Biocontrol Lab is working under a USDA-regulated permit to rear and release H. opulenta across southern New England. Releases occur in the spring and early summer. Release sites are spread throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine.  Other researchers are also carrying out H. opulenta releases in Canada, New York, New […]

Want to work with the Biocontrol Lab?

The URI Biocontrol Lab hires undergraduates each semester and every summer to assist with invasive species monitoring and biocontrol projects.  Students get to work in a variety of field, lab, and outreach experiences. Contact Lisa Tewksbury at or call the office at (401) 874-2750 to inquire about open staff positions and volunteer opportunities.

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