Help Eradicate the Spotted Lantern Fly
From the NY Times: The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), an invasive pest from Asia, arrived in the U.S. seven years ago and in New York City last year. The insects zealously feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species, leaving them susceptible to disease and destruction from other natural antagonists, threatening to set back the fight against climate change.
They immediately landed on the Most Wanted list of local environmentalists, who have brought a General Patton-ish energy to the project of expunging it. There are no natural predators that go after them and no organic pesticides to shut down their operation, so if you see one, “squish it,” said Ronnit Bendavid-Val, the director of horticulture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, “that’s the message.”
In Pennsylvania, the issue is taken so seriously that the state issued a Spotted Lanternfly Order of Quarantine and Treatment, which imposes fines and even potential criminal penalties on anyone who intentionally moves the bug, at any stage of its life, from one sort of location to another via “recreational vehicles, tractors, mowers, grills” as well as “tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards” or “fire pits.”
New York State’s Department of Agriculture, concerned about the lanternfly’s affinity for grapes and all the resulting danger posed to vineyards in the Finger Lakes and on Long Island, would ask you to go beyond combat and perform reconnaissance. It would like you to collect a specimen when you come across one, put it in a bag and freeze it, or put it in a jar and kill it, then write to the agency providing additional details about your sighting, pointing out the “street address and ZIP code, intersecting roads, landmarks, or GPS coordinates,” according to the website.