How did the spotted lanternfly reach the United States? Exploring potential damage as insect experts advise crushing them
Recently, scientists advised Americans to squash the pesky, herbivorous spotted lanternfly. Due to an increase in cases of Mottled Lanterns entering the United States, this notification has been issued. These insects were first found in Southeast Asia, according to ABC News.
In 2014, they crossed the US border upon arriving in Pennsylvania. The insects have since been discovered in other parts of the country, particularly the Northeast, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
The New York City Parks Department website provides tips on how to handle dappled lanterns. The division said:
“While harming wildlife is generally prohibited in our city, the current recommendation is to crush and dispose of Mottled Lanterns if you notice them in order to slow the spread of this problematic species.”
In Pennsylvania, the Spotted Lanternfly was originally discovered.
Although bugs first arrived in the United States in 2014, they are essentially new to the country. The species can reproduce rapidly by laying eggs virtually anywhere, which has raised serious concerns.
According to Anne Johnson, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology at Pennsylvania State University, the “boom-bust cycle”, which indicates that they could produce a swarm of their species soon enough, increased the number of insects. This year. by Gizmodo.
The female lantern can produce between 40 and 50 eggs per clutch between September and October, according to ABC News. As a rule, the eggs hatch in the spring.
If they become more numerous, the species can destroy forests, parks and agricultural lands. However, there were no reports of them biting or stinging anyone. They mainly damage plants because they leave behind a sticky substance called “honeydew”, which then turns into mold and kills trees and other plants by preventing photosynthesis.
According to entomologists, the species may have arrived on stones that were shipped to the United States as hidden egg masses.
Efforts being made to stop the spread of the Mottled Lantern
An intensive workshop to train volunteers to collect invasive pests has been launched by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Department of Environmental Conservation and Bureau of Parks, recreation and historic preservation.
Richard Ball, New York’s agriculture commissioner, said an effort had been made to stop the unusual expansion of the species. He added:
“This groundbreaking initiative is a fantastic new step in New York’s fight against the spotted lanternfly. Our long-term attempts to stop the spread of this invasive species have relied heavily on people.
Ball noted their plans and added:
“By expanding this call to action, we can both increase the amount of ground we cover while continuing to spread knowledge and promote awareness of SLF throughout New York.” I appreciate the efforts of our volunteers and urge New Yorkers to enroll in training programs and begin conducting surveys.
But the battle against species is far from over in New York. NBC News reports that an additional $22 million is needed to fight the species. According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
The Spotted Lanternfly now poses a multi-million dollar danger to New York’s economy, putting both agriculture and tourism at risk.
According to reports, several researchers have also urged people to scan their vehicles for Spotted Lanternfly eggs that may not have been discovered. Cars can have eggs laid on the sides or bottom.