by Jen Carlson,
The messaging is clear: If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, you must destroy it.
While the invasive pest—a planthopper, which cannot actually fly too far—does not cause a direct threat to humans, it can be destructive to our surroundings and quality of life. In addition to infesting trees, they are considered a threat to a wide range of agricultural crops.
And this little destroyer has been lurking around the entire state—according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, it “could impact New York’s forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries.” Alejandro Calixto, director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management program at Cornell University, recently warned: “Once these insects reach some of the state’s grape production areas, there’s going to be an impact.” Same goes for walnuts, hops, apples, blueberries, and stone fruits.