On Friday, the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation as well as the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced the spotted lanternfly (SLF) was found on Staten Island, New York.
The New York State Integrated Pest Management program at Cornell University has been monitoring for the spotted lanternfly since its first occurrence in Pennsylvania in 2014. They have been developing SLF educational programs and materials for farmers and citizens for the last five years, working closely with NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets as well as universities and states where spotted lanternfly is already problematic.
Brian Eshenaur is a plant pathologist and a senior extension associate with the New York State Integrated Pest Management program.
“The spotted lanternfly can be a nuisance in high numbers, and they can cause damage to some plants. In New York state we are especially concerned about our vineyards since they like to feed on grapevines. The spotted lanternfly may cause significant damage to vineyards and hop yards. In addition, the increased insecticide treatments necessary to manage this pest drives up costs.
“The spotted lanternfly can also feed heavily on common tree species, such as black walnut and maples, and may cause branch dieback. Indirectly, nursery crops, Christmas trees and forest products could be negatively impacted if quarantines are established for a county in which they are being produced.”
Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann is an entomologist whose work focuses on integrated pest management. As a part of the New York State Integrated Pest Management program team, she helps with management strategies for the spotted lanternfly in non-agricultural settings.
“The spotted lanternfly does not bite or sting and is not a threat to people or pets. Large numbers of SLF, while not dangerous to humans or animals, can create a mess when they feed by excreting honeydew on surfaces in backyards, parks, on cars and places where people are active. Sugary honeydew attracts ants and yellowjackets and is a base for the growth of unsightly sooty mold.
“Residents will want to be extra vigilant watching for this invasive insect. Individual and commercial travelers alike should be aware that there’s the potential to spread this insect to new areas without knowing it. Adult spotted lanternfly can end up in vehicles and the egg masses can be laid on virtually anything. It’s important to inspect anything that you load into your vehicle.”
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