Being in the middle of spring and approaching the warmer, summer months we may already be seeing the warnings about invasive pests in the Hudson Valley.

Insects such as ladybugs, moths and butterflies are pleasant and bring a smile to my face. 

However, other insects give me the opposite feeling. Invasive pests can consist of beetles, stink bugs, ants, spiders and more. Thinking about these insects may gross you out but there's one more that we almost forgot about.

Do You Remember This Invasive Pest?

Invasive Species Spotted Lanternfly Permeates Across Northeast With Fears They Could Spread Further
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The spotted lanternfly was known for being an invasive pest that was invading towns all over New York state.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation,

"Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest from Asia that primarily feeds on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also feed on a wide variety of plants such as grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, fruit trees and others. This insect could impact New York's forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries."

 

"In the US, SLF was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since been found in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and New York."

 

SEE ALSO: Where Is New York State's Biggest Tree?

When Did The Spotted Lanternfly Invade New York State?

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According to the Department of Environmental Conservation,

"The first New York State infestation was discovered in Staten Island in August 2020 (leaves DEC website). Visit Cornell's Integrated Pest Management site for an up-to-date map of current infestation locations in the Northeast, including New York (leaves DEC website)."

 

How Are Spotted Lanternflies A Risk To New York State?

Invasive Species Spotted Lanternfly Permeates Across Northeast With Fears They Could Spread Further
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The Department of Conservation explains that spotted lanternflies are a threat to New York's forest and agriculture. They also explain that being adults or even nymphs, they have the ability to use their mouths to suck and feed on sap. This can be done with "more than 70 plant species."

By doing so, plants are not able to grow properly and can also feel stressed, attacked and leaving them ultimately vulnerable.

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The Department of Conservation mentioned that, 

"SLF also excrete large amounts of sticky "honeydew," which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. "

 

"New York's annual yield of apples and grapes has a combined value of $358.4 million, which could be greatly impacted by SLF. The full extent of economic damage this insect could cause is unknown at this time."

In June of 2022, I put together an article about this invasive pest and its return to the Hudson Valley. However, I saw the majority of spotted lanternflies in New Jersey.

How Do Spotted Lanternflies Spread Throughout New York State?

Invasive Species Spotted Lanternfly Permeates Across Northeast With Fears They Could Spread Further
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The Department of Conservation stated that spotted lanternflies have the ability to not only fly but jump as well. This would be done in short distances but they can also spread through activities.

Be sure to check your firewood, vehicles, lawnmowers, and even outdoor furniture and bikes to make sure that they aren't spreading.

What Should Residents Do If They Come Across The Invasive, Spotted Lanternfly?

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture mentions that residents can report a sighting of a spotted lanternfly here. 

However, The Department of Conservation recommends to 

"Destroy egg masses by scraping them into a bucket of hot, soapy water or a baggie/jar of hand sanitizer."

Personally, when I saw a spotted lanternfly, I didn't step on it as if others were doing it. I've never been a fan of doing that with any living thing and I don't believe I will start now.

What would you do if you spotted a spotted lanternfly and why? Share with us below.

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