Farmers on Alert as Spotted Lanternfly found in Third State
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed that spotted lanternfly has been found for the first time in New York State. The insect, which has also been discovered in Pennsylvania and Delaware, is a potential threat to several important agricultural crops in New York, including grapes, apples, hops, and forest products. The Department is urging communities across the state to help prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly by being vigilant and reporting any suspected findings.
The Department confirmed the invasive insect as spotted lanternfly earlier this month after employees at a facility in Delaware County reported the finding. It is thought to have arrived in New York on an interstate shipment. The single specimen was dead when it was discovered. The incident serves as an important reminder that invasive species can be transported to new locations in various ways.
“The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell, along with our partners at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, will help growers and homeowners deal with the spotted lanternfly in low-risk ways,” New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program Director, Jennifer Grant, said. “No one wants new invasive pests to establish in New York, so it’s important for the experts to respond quickly. We depend on reporting from the public to guide our response.”
The spotted lanternfly, which is native to Asia, was first detected in Bern County, PA, in 2014. Currently, 13 counties in Pennsylvania are under quarantine. The State of Delaware confirmed the finding of the insect. The pest causes harm by sucking sap from plant stems and leaves.
The Department is coordinating with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to notify producers whose crops are most susceptible to spotted lanternfly. The Department’s Division of Plant Industry also is increasing proactive inspections by visiting facilities, such as warehouses, trucking companies, and distribution centers that receive shipments from outside the state.
Communities are being asked to report any findings of spotted lanternfly to the Division of Plant Industry at 800-554-4501 or [email protected], or to a local Cornell Cooperative Extension county office. The insect is easy to identify with distinct markings. Photos are available here. The Department also is asking for residents to take photos of the insect if possible when they find them.
For more information on the spotted lanternfly, please visit the USDA’s fact sheet, here.