HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Transportation issued a warning on Tuesday for drivers to look out for spotted lanternflies on their vehicles.

If found, state officials are asking drivers to kill the spotted lanternflies as the invasive insects spread by attaching themselves to vehicles.

The lanternflies are commonly found in the interior of a car, wheel wells, or truck beds.

State officials are urging drivers to check their vehicles for spotted lantern flies and to kill them if found to protect the environment. (SOURCE: CTDOT)

The lanternflies have been seen in New Haven, Hartford, Litchfield and Fairfield counties.

The invasive species can cause severe damage to trees and other crops in Connecticut. The insects attack more than 70 different types of plants, according to DEEP.

Spotted lanternfly nymphs and adults feed by sucking the sap out of the host’s plant leaves or stems. The plants can become weaker or seriously damaged, as it causes a reduction in photosynthesis.

When the spotted lanternflies feed on plants, they produce a sticky and sugary residue called “honeydew” which attracts other insects and promotes the growth of black mold, according to DEEP.

47 percent of forest trees in the state are susceptible to spotted lanternflies, DEEP said. Fruit trees in the state including peach, apple and cherry are vulnerable to insects. Officials said even if the trees do not die, the lanternflies can destroy the value of the fruit.

According to DEEP, grape vines are particularly vulnerable to spotted lanternflies.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation issued a quarantine order for the insects that will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2023.

The purpose of the order is to slow the spread of spotted lanternflies in order to protect the economic interests of the state’s agricultural industries, as the insects have the potential to devastate crops in the state.