Spotted Lanternfly — Spot, Squash, Send

They arrived in the United States in 2012. Nine years later they were in Rhode Island. And by last year a spotted lanternfly had been identified here in Providence. Unfortunately, the fly must die. The spotted lanternfly uses a stylet (or beak) to pierce plant tissue for feeding, causing damage to forests, as well as agricultural and ornamental crops. A team of three workers with the Department of Environmental Management has been out around the state all winter hunting for and wiping out lanternfly egg masses, and now they are hoping to educate and recruit landscapers, nursery workers, highway workers, and civilians to help in the battle. You know the drill:

At risk are: apples, cherries, grapes, hops, maples, oaks, peaches, pines, poplars, walnuts, and willows. More advice from the DEM:

  • Inspect firewood, vehicles, outdoor furniture, and camping gear for egg masses, nymphs, and adults.
  • Check all your gear and equipment before traveling to and from Rhode Island, and scrape off any egg masses.

Educational training sessions are scheduled in the beginning of April in Middletown, Charlestown, Wakefield, and Warwick.

This is not just a problem for farmers and country folk; Kieran Culkin was the hero of last year’s invasion of Manhattan, smashing at least 70 with his shoe.

Seen here is an adult with its gorgeous coloring. They won’t be around until July, but I didn’t want to feature a photo of an egg mass. Go to the DEM website for photos of all the developmental stages: adult, nymph, egg mass.

More at the ProJo.



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