Travel News October 09, 2019
The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Is Threatening $18 Billion Of Pennsylvania Agriculture
Bug infestations are never fun, but especially not when they pose a significant threat to peoples’ livelihoods and products we use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the spotted lanternfly is doing in Pennsylvania – and there isn’t much we can do to stop them.
Native to Southeast Asia, the spotted lanternfly first appeared in Pennsylvania five years ago.
It reproduces at a rapid rate, so even the most intensive efforts have only managed to stop their multiplication.
Their greedy mouths siphon sap from trees and vines, thus weakening valuable crops all over the state.
Even worse, the insects secrete a clear goo onto the decks and swimming pools of exasperated homeowners.
Easily the most troublesome fact about lanternflies is the incredible destruction left in their wake.
They threaten $18 billion of agriculture statewide, including timber, hops, and the lucrative Pennsylvania wine industry.
While controlling the infestation on a population level is nearly impossible, several actions have been taken to try and move the needle.
One of the most important steps is removing tree-of-heaven, the preferred host for lanternflies.
Females are now beginning to lay their eggs, and citizens are encouraged to scrape them off windshields, trees, lawn furniture, outdoor equipment, and other surfaces.
Each mass eliminated prevents up to 60 eggs from hatching, which can have a profound impact on next season.
Some people have even repurposed their wet/dry vacuum cleaners into secret weapons.
The suction wands are much more effective at mass eradication than a simple shovel or other collection apparatus.
So, while this nuisance of a critter may not be going anywhere in our lifetime, we can do things to lessen the burden.
Hopefully, we'll have the upper hand next year!
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Did you know about the spotted lanternfly infestation? Have you been forced to clean up any eggs so far this year? Tell us your thoughts and experiences.