Residents are asked to ‘crush and eliminate’ invasive insect species that are invading New York City

A new bug is invading New York and the surrounding area. Spotted lanterns, while not directly harmful to humans, are giant, colorful pests that have the potential to wreak havoc on the region’s cultures – and authorities advise locals to destroy anything they can. they meet.

The insects are native to China and Southeast Asia and were first sighted in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. Their population has slowly increased since then, with spotted lanterns also being identified in the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

Notably, the species is very colorful, which makes it easy to spot. “They have red hind wings with black markings, a black head, and a yellow abdomen with black stripes,” the New York Department of Agriculture said. “Their greyish forewings have black markings with a distinctive black brick pattern on the tips.”

We are sounding the alarm on LANTERNFLY SPOTTED after a recent wave of sightings in Manhattan on @inaturalist—Over 30 in the last week alone. This invasive leafhopper destroys plants and trees, but does not harm humans. Kill him by crushing or crushing him. pic.twitter.com/9YyIuTjMBu

– Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) August 15, 2021

Pests are equipped with “piercing mouthparts” that allow them to suck sap from a wide range of plant species, leaving plants weak and vulnerable. “This intense feeding just saps the energy of the plants, and it makes it difficult for some of them to thrive,” entomologist Amy Korman told Featured News in New Jersey.

The pests pose such a threat, in fact, that New York City officials are recommending residents step up and participate in eradication efforts themselves.

“Harming the wildlife in our city is prohibited, but in an effort to slow the spread of this troublesome species, we are making a unique appeal: if you see a spotted lantern fly, please crush and eliminate this invasive pest,” a declared the City Parks and Recreation Department.

The spotted lantern fly, an invasive species that can harm plants, trees and crops, has been spotted in and around New York City parks and green spaces. In the photo, Central Park.
Cindy Ord / Getty Images

In neighboring New Jersey, where the number of spotted lanterns is also on the rise, residents have received similar advice: “If you see a spotted lantern, help us trample it!” The state’s agriculture ministry said on its website.

After killing the bugs, government agencies ask people to take a photo of the specimen and where it was found, and then immediately report the sighting – in New York City, for example, spotted lantern sightings can be reported to the Department of Agriculture’s SLF response survey.

Residents are also advised to dispose of the species’ egg masses, explained Susan Ndiaye, community horticultural educator. Union of times. She asks anyone who encounters a mass of eggs to “scratch them” no matter what surface they are on “and destroy them”.

What makes the spotted lantern fly particularly disturbing is the fact that it has a wide range of potential hosts, which means that the parasites can thrive by drinking the sap of several important plant species, the New York explained. State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM). The biggest concern with the spotted lantern fly is the threat it poses to agriculture, with “grapes, hops, apples, blueberries and stone fruits” all at risk.

Spotted lanterns cannot fly far, but, as leafhoppers, they are spread by “human activity”.

“They lay their eggs on vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone, etc. which are inadvertently transported to new areas, causing the insect to spread,” the Department said. New York State Environmental Conservation.

News week contacted the New York Department of Agriculture and the New York Department of Parks and Recreation for further comment.