These little insects have made headlines, but for all the wrong reasons! Spotted lanternfly sightings have sparked fear all over the country due to their devastating affects on agriculture. Here is everything we know about these menacing bugs that must be stopped.
This month a new issue has arose and it’s all because of a little insect. As it turns out, the spotted lanternfly is much more than just a regular insect. They are an extremely invasive species set on destroying everything in their path. These insects are funky in appearance but what they do to agriculture is everything but.
Here is everything we know about the spotted lanternfly and what their arrival means to Americans all over the country.
What Is a Spotted LAnternfly
This insect looks like a moth-fly hybrid. Their spotted wings and red bodies give it a pretty appearance. These flies are are extremely invasive that reek havoc in parts of China, India and Vietnam. They often host on trees, vines, grapes, fruits and even other species.
Do Spotted Lanternflies Bite?
These insects are not known to bite humans. However, because they are invasive and damage local agriculture it is best to squash them if you see one. Additionally, they are not known to bite pets or livestock either. So luckily, we are safe but our local habitats and food sources are not.
Spotted Lanternfly Destruction
These insects pose a serious threat to agriculture, wine industries and forest health. They cause serious damages including oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling and dieback in vines, crops, trees and many other plants. Additionally, they excrete a sugary substance that promotes the growth of black mold.
Not only do they damage trees and plants, they are also an extreme threat to agriculture. The economic issues that they bring can cost up to hundreds of millions dollars in grapes, haps, apples and hardwood industries.
Spotted Lanternyflies Spotted All Over The Country
Earlier this month, several reports have come out all over the country upon sightings of these insects. Their arrival has sparked even more fear regarding climate change and the rapid uprising of invasive species caused by the warmer weather.
How Do They Travel?
The spotted lanternfly can travel long distances simply by people who move infested items or materials that contain egg masses. They are sneaky little bugs that can cling on or lay eggs discretely. This allows them to travel all over the world.
What Does This Mean For Vineyards, Farms and Locals
The sighting of these bugs could mean mass destruction to farms, vineyards and other agriculture industries throughout the states. These insects destroy crops like grapes, apple, timber and hops. According to The Guardian, more than 800 acres of agricultural lands are at risk of infestation. It’s crucial that we take appropriate steps to detect and stop these invasive pests.
The Spotted Lanternfly and Climate Change
As climate change accelerates and temperatures rise, we can expect more invasive species to appear. These insects are just one example of the invasive insects and animals that will thrive through the changing climate.
Why do invasive species thrive through change?
- Warmer and wetter weather conditions enhance the growth of invasive species. This means that the growth periods of invasive species is longer which offers them a competitive advantage.
- Forests and habitats are already stressed or damaged from climate change which makes them much harder to combat.
What To Do If You Find Spotted LanternFlies
It is advised that immediate action is taken to help prevent the spread of this insect. Many governments are asking people to kill the bugs, dispose of their bodies in rubbing alcohol and report them with photos.
Despite their funky spotted wings and red bodies, these insects are not to be taken lightly. They are extremely damaging to local wildlife and agricultural industries. If we don’t work together to stop the spread of this invasive insect, we could be at risk for multimillion dollar economic loss to agriculture. This not only puts jobs at risk but also food sources. If you see a spotted lanternfly, kill it!
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