A spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) rests on a blue pice of paper in Swarthmore, Pa. Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The insect was accidentally introduced in Korea in 2006 and has since been considered a pest. Credit: Jose F. Moreno | The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Agriculture authorities in Maine said Tuesday that the eggs of an invasive insect that could harm crops have been located in the state for the first time.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said egg masses of the spotted lanternfly have been found on trees in at least four communities. The lanternfly is a sap-feeding insect from Asia that was first found in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014, the department said.

The lanternfly can hurt commodities such as apples and maple syrup that are important to Maine’s economy. The state is asking anyone who has received goods from a state with a known spotted lanternfly infestation to carefully check the materials for signs of the insect.

There are populations of the lanternfly in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the department said. The lanternfly has not previously been found in Maine.