Generally when a non-native species is launched to a brand new atmosphere there’s a devastating end result. Whether or not the invasive species is a plant, animal, or pathogen, the presence of those invaders causes ecological or financial hurt. Emerald Ash Borer, for instance, has killed lots of of hundreds of thousands of ash timber and now develop into well-established in North America. Extra not too long ago, the invasive Noticed Lanternfly (SLF) has made its presence recognized, steadily growing its vary and inflicting feeding harm on a variety of crops and timber since first being found in Pennsylvania in 2014.
Opposite to its identify, this insect isn’t a fly, however a planthopper. They will hop powerfully over quick distances, however are additionally in a position to fly comparatively far and excessive. Since its debut in Pennsylvania, SLF is now being seen in Delaware in addition to in New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Washington state has additionally reported a sighting.
A fantastic however lethal insect, it feeds on timber utilizing its needle-like mouthparts, referred to as a stylet. The mouthparts insert into plant tissue and suck up sap like a straw. As they feed, the bugs excrete a sticky substance referred to as honeydew that facilitates the expansion of sooty mould (a fungal illness) and attracts different bugs. SLF breeds in giant numbers and sometimes feeds in giant teams so they’re simply seen, steadily congregating on the base of a number tree.
Curiously, the popular host of SLP is one other invasive species, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Nonetheless, the insect shouldn’t be significantly selective and lots of recognized species are attacked, together with hickory, maple, pine, poplar, pink oak, walnut, willow, Prunus spp. (plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds), and apples.
In case you are in an space the place this pest is prevalent, be looking out for egg plenty, that are simply seen clinging on to bark. They are often scraped off and needs to be double-bagged and thrown away. Pesticides might be utilized to manage SLF successfully as effectively. In case you discover SLF in an space the place it has not but been reported, please report it immediately to help within the management of this invasive pest.