New Yorkers can expect the invasive spotted lanternfly — that residents have been encouraged to squash — to return to the city and resume destroying trees this summer, an entomologist said. 

Dr. Jessica Ware, an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, said in an interview with NY1 Saturday that the “Beat the Bug!” and “Stomp It Out” campaigns did not get rid of the pest. 

“They’re excellent hitchhikers so they still continue to spread and we expect them to be present again in high numbers,” Ware said. “So until there’s a biological control agent introduced, we’re probably going to expect them to stay here to stay, regardless of how many bugs you may have stomped on last year.” 

The decorative moth-like insect originated from China, feeds on a wide range of fruit and destroys ornamental and woody trees. 

The bug became a threat to the New York area last year because of the wide range of plants it fed on, which could potentially impact “the crops we love,” Ware said. 

Circular traps were tied around trees to help eliminate egg masses and adult bugs. 

Ware said the mission is to control the spread of invasive species that tend to gravitate toward the New York port area every year. She is encouraging New Yorkers to stay alert. 

“You should still check your cars, check your homes for egg masses in particular which looks kind of like gray chewing gum or gray bits of cement that you might see stuck to surfaces,” Ware said. “Really the best way is to try and prevent them from going with you when you go on vacation this summer.”