The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) has confirmed that spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Albany and Yates counties. A single adult insect was discovered in a vehicle in the Capital District. In addition, a single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan, Yates County.
Your help in spotting this destructive invasive pest is critically important to agricultural and ag tourism businesses. Spotted lanternfly is particularly devastating to farm crops and especially apples, grapes and hops. If you think you have spotted one, please report the sighting to email@example.com.
Spotted lanternfly was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has now traveled to New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Given the proximity to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey infestations, New York State is at high risk for infestation. While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. Spotted lanternfly lay their eggs on any number of surfaces such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood. Therefore, the insects can easily hitch rides and travel distances.
Adult spotted lanternfly are active from July to December. They are approximately one-inch long and half an inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Adults begin laying eggs in October. Signs of a spotted lanternfly infestation may include:
Anyone that suspects they have found spotted lanternfly is encouraged to send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note the location of where the insect was found, egg masses and/or infestation signs. DEC and DAM also encourage the public to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, furniture and firewood for egg masses.
Anyone that visits the Pennsylvania or New Jersey Quarantine Areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage and gear for spotted lanternfly and egg masses before leaving and scrape off all egg masses.
A Smartphone application is also available to help citizens and conservation professionals quickly and easily report new invasive species sightings directly to New York’s invasive species database from their phones. For more information, visit New York’s invasive species database.
Information in this article is from DEC/Dam publications. For more information on spotted lanternfly, please visit the CCE-MC Website at madisoncountycce.org and/or visit DEC’s website. If you have questions and/or would like to speak to one of our educators, please contact Sarah Ficken at 315-684-3001 ext. 108 or email@example.com
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.