Recently, scientists in the United States requested the assistance of average folks in eliminating the Spotted Lanternfly, a pest insect that is responsible for the death of plants. This alert has been issued as a result of an increase in the number of spotted lanternfly infestations found in the United States. ABC News reports that the origin of these insects can be traced back to Southeast Asia.
In 2014, they arrived in the United States after making their way into Pennsylvania. Since that time, the insects have been discovered in other regions of the country, specifically in the northeastern region of the country, which includes the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.
Spotted Lanternfly was first spotted in Pennsylvania
Even though the bugs were discovered in the United States for the first time in 2014, they are still relatively new to the country. Due to the fact that the species is capable of rapidly reproducing by laying eggs virtually everywhere, there is a growing level of anxiety about the situation.
According to Anne Johnson, a PhD student in the department of entomology at Pennsylvania State University, the number of the insects has increased this year as a result of the “boom-bust cycle,” which indicates that they might soon enough create a swarm of their kind. This information was provided to Gizmodo by Johnson.
In the months of September and October, the female lanternfly can lay anywhere from forty to fifty eggs at a time, as reported by ABC News. In most cases, the hatching process takes place during the springtime.
It is possible for the species to cause damage to agriculture, parks, and forests if its population grows. On the other hand, there have been no instances of them being aggressive or stinging anyone. They leave behind a sticky residue that is called the “honeydew,” which subsequently turns into mold and damages trees and plants while inhibiting photosynthesis. This is the primary way in which they are destructive to plants.
Entomologists are also of the opinion that the species might have arrived in the United States as unnoticed egg masses on stones that were transported here.
Measures taken to curb the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly
The Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation of the state of New York have collaborated to organize a comprehensive workshop with the goal of teaching volunteers how to capture invasive pests.
However, the war against the species in New York is not even close to being over yet. The elimination of the species will take an additional $22 million, as reported by NBC News. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the following statement:
Reportedly, some experts have also requested that residents inspect their vehicles for any unreported eggs that may have been laid by the Spotted Lanternfly. Eggs may be laid anywhere on the car, including the floor or the sides.