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Kill-on-Sight Campaign Targets Invasive Lanternfly

Recently, when Steven Nixon found a "beautiful" speckled lantern fly by his bag while skateboarding in Brooklyn, he responded to requests from city officials. I listened.

He stepped on it.

"I don't like killing things. Not many people do. If I see a cockroach in my apartment, I catch it and release it," Nixon said. But if insect populations explode, it "looks like something's wrong," he said. It is part of a public campaign to combat the invasive plant-eating insects that thrive in many parts of the eastern United States. Beautifully spotted with red wing patterns, the Lanternfly is nonetheless both a nuisance and a threat. A kind of insect that encourages people to post about crushing and stomping on social media.

In cities, they will swarm outside buildings and land on pedestrians. They excrete a sticky substance called honeydew that can collect on outdoor furniture.The sap-sucking insects also pose a hazard to grapes and other crops, and this summer's New York wine region An alert has been issued.

Across the mid-Atlantic states, officials are asking people to help track and slow the spread of insects, even if they have to set foot in.

"Be careful," said Chris Roeg of the New York Department of Agriculture.

Introduced in 2014

Native to Asia, first identified in 2014 in the United States northwest of Philadelphia. Insect eggs may have arrived with a pile of landscaping stones. Eight years later, 13 states, mostly on the East Coast, have reported infestations, according to Cornell University's New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.Individual insects are being found in more states, and this summer, Two of him were found in Iowa.

This insect has spread so quickly because it is secretly a hitchhiker. Drivers during this time unwittingly give lift to moth-looking adults perched inside the trunk, in his wheel wells, or on bumpers.

"Check the car," Rogue said. "What you really want is something that could be alive. It's lurking there and not being blown out of your car on your trip. Really, really important."

People also unwittingly carry lanternfly eggs, which are laid later in the season. The female lays her mass of 30 or more eggs on all sorts of surfaces, from tree trunks to patio furniture. Eggs laid on movable surfaces, such as camper trailers and train cars, can hatch in the spring many miles away.

Spotted mothfly combatants can escape from insecticide spraying. Haven does everything from cutting down his tree. This is another of his exotic species that is a good host for spotted lanternflies. But public participation is paramount.

In Pennsylvania, residents of quarantined counties check dozens of items for pests, from cars to camping equipment to lumber and shrubs, before heading to non-quarantine destinations.


Across the East, people are being asked to report sightings to track the spread of the infection.

if you see it. Show no mercy.

A post by a Pennsylvania farmer reads, "Kill it. Crush it. Crush it. Just remove it."

New York City park officials agree, advising them to "crush and dispose of them."

"Join Jersey's Stomp Team" read a billboard in New Jersey showing shoes trying to ward off insects.

Heide Estes did just that this month after seeing a speckled lantern fly during a Sunday walk in Long Branch, New Jersey. I came back and said to my partner, 'Look, I saw a great white shark,'" Estes said. go to see. ''

There was more.

Her partner, an entomologist, put four of her in her plastic bottle to show her college colleagues what it looked like. They killed at least a dozen people. Many people were gathered at the Tree of Heaven.

"Obviously the whole place was infected," she said.

Closer to vineyards

Although the epidemic in New York State was concentrated in metropolitan areas, spread to Agricultural officials are concerned about the fate of Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Long Island vineyards if the infestation spreads.U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said on Sunday that insects could cause millions of dollars in damage to the state.

"Spotted lantern flies suck sap from vines," said Brian Echenauer, an expert in Cornell's pest program. rice field. "And the vines may be lost during the growing season, as their hardiness is reduced during winter."

At Sheldrake Point Winery in the Finger Lakes, vineyard manager David Wieman said workers queuing in He said he already knew he was on guard.

"We talked about how detrimental it was to the vineyard," Wieman said. "So if they see it, they'll let me know."