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Where Have You Spotted the Lanternfly ?

Lanternfly – Courtesy Cornell University

On Saturday August 26, I spotted a colorful Spotted Lanternfly flying around inside the Palmer Avenue Stop’n Shop in New Rochelle, right in front of the cheese section. A fearless shopper swatted the invader to the floor and squished it under her foot.

How did this invasive species arrive in the store, or anywhere else, and how dangerous is it?

According to the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell  University,  the species –native to China– was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is now a threat throughout much of the U.S. It is of great concern primarily to agriculture, especially to hardwood trees, and vineyards, as well as hops, apples, blueberries and stone fruits. So the Stop’n Shop invader was definitely looking in the wrong store aisle. Should have been in the produce section.

Kidding aside, the fly lays its eggs on almost any hard surface, including stones and metal. So maybe it traveled into the store on a metal shopping cart. The egg masses may be transported without anyone realizing it. A nymph stage fly appeared on my backyard deck recently which is the first time I had seen one.

Nymph Stage, Spotted Lanternfly, Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Bugwood.org

While feeding on trees or produce, the flies excrete a sticky honeydew substance that can create a moldy residue. Their feeding can cause plants to wilt, defoliate, and eventually die.

If you find one of these flies, experts say you should take a picture and note the location. You can also collect the insect in a jar or freeze it in a bag, if possible, and then take a picture.  Send an email with your information to: spottedlaternfly@agriculture.ny.gov

More information is available from the PennState Extension Service here.

 

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newmanhttps://joycehnewman.wordpress.com/
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.

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Venera Evanko
Venera Evanko
September 1, 2023 9:41 PM

I live in New Rochelle. I have seen and tried to kill everyone I saw. So I have seen them at the Mosholu Golf course in the Bronx, I have seen them around my property, Saxon Woods golf course and Sprain Lake golf course. There has to be a a state wide effort to kill and eradicate them or all of our trees are going to be dead.

Lacey
Lacey
September 1, 2023 9:37 AM

I don’t think taking a picture and noting the location is going to help anything. Stomp on it like the lady in the store did. How about some tips for eradicating them!

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