Stomp, squish, and crush away. It’s open season on the spotted lanternfly population in Pennsylvania. State officials and researchers recommend that Pennsylvanians kill as many as possible, write Maria Cramer and Isabella Grullón Paz for The New York Times.
A take-no-prisoners stance may sound cruel, but it’s necessary. This invasive insect from Asia has been wreaking havoc locally for the past seven years.
It’s a beautiful insect, with pale, pinkish gray wings, black dots and a scarlet undercoat.
But it’s an invasive species with a strong appetite for apple trees, plum trees and grapevines.
Fortunately, the voracious plant-eater is harmless to humans and animals.
They lay eggs by the dozens and they excrete a sweet substance that encourages black mold.
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers warned in a 2019 report that the spotted lanternfly could potentially cost Pennsylvania’s economy $325 million each year, as well as 2,800 jobs.
The need to eradicate the pest will become even more urgent in September, when the adults begin voraciously feeding to reproduce so they can lay eggs in the fall.
“These are called bad bugs for a reason,” said the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Read more about spotted lanternflies in The New York Times.
One man shows how he killed thousands of lanternflies in his yard.