Spotted Lanternflies Are Beautiful — Kill Them All

The RI DEM advises that the spotted lanternfly is here in Rhode Island and poses a serious threat to agricultural interests. I know what you’re thinking . . . what would Kieran Culkin do? Apparently the Big Apple is experiencing a particularly robust invasion. The New York Times describes how celebrities have been stepping up:

The actor Kieran Culkin, known for his role as Roman Roy in “Succession,” was observed employing this tactic in Brooklyn last month, using one shoe to destroy, by his audible count, at least 70 lanternflies. One bystander declared him “a true N.Y.C. hero.”

This level of infestation may well be heading our way. So kill kill kill. From Channel 10 News:

A familiar foe is back in Rhode Island and it’s one the state’s Department of Environmental Management is giving the green light for you to kill. Invasive spotted lanternflies are popping up again in the Ocean State. On Thursday, Rhode Island DEM showed NBC 10 News a newly infested area of Lincoln Woods State Park, where the pesky pest has moved in for the summer.

SPOT, SQUASH, SEND: The RI DEM asks citizens to Spot (take a photo) Squash (kill the insect) and Send (collect the specimen and report it to DEM).

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive plant hopper insect, introduced into the United States in 2014. Native to China, this pest is associated with the invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also cause significant damage to grape, apple, stone fruits, walnut, and other economically important plants.


Ailanthus grows everywhere and is a necessary host in the completion of the lanternfly life cycle. DEM has been injecting these trees with an insecticide which is drawn up into the tree. The lanternflies then suck and die!

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