River talk

The spotted lanternfly makes its way to the region

By SCOTT RANDO
Posted 9/8/21

Spotted lanternflies have been in the news of late. They have been slowly but surely expanding their way northward and are now appearing in southern areas of the region. According to the New York …

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River talk

The spotted lanternfly makes its way to the region

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Spotted lanternflies have been in the news of late. They have been slowly but surely expanding their way northward and are now appearing in southern areas of the region. According to the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, as of August 30, Pike and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania and Orange County in New York are listed as having infestations present. Additionally, the two counties aforementioned in PA are under a state quarantine.

The spotted lanternfly is a plant hopper that is native to China and southeastern Asia. The nymphs are black with white spots, and red appears on fourth instar nymphs (the final stage before becoming adults). The adults are gray with black spots. They have a brilliant red hindwing which is normally hidden when the insect is at rest.

The spotted lanternfly first appeared in Pennsylvania in 2014, and it was found to have a detrimental effect on grape vineyards and a host of other agricultural products. Trees, such as black walnut, maple, birch, and sycamore, can also serve as hosts. The later instar nymphs and adults prefer trees more than smaller plants.

Managing this pest includes learning to identify the spotted lanternfly in all stages of development, and checking vehicles and material before leaving infested areas. If you see a spotted lanternfly, kill it (they are quick), and send a photo or otherwise report the finding to your state environmental protection agency. Pennsylvania residents who want information on quarantine areas, protecting plants, and more, check the Penn State extension site at www.extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly  or the New York State Integrated Pest Management site from Cornell at https://bit.ly/38zmFwL.

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