Q. Spotted lanternfly
I live in a NYC apartment building with a garden and want to inform our residents about the spotted lanternfly - how to identify, what to do if one sees the insect, eggs, or larvae. Do you have any suggestions?
This is an important subject. Our area is of particular concern as part of the protective zone established by the Department of Conservation of 20 counties closest to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey spotted lanternfly (SLF) infestations. This map from Cornell University College of Life and Science will give you an idea of the large area in which the insects have been confirmed.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has some great tools for education and communication about spotted lanternfly in our state that are concise and I think will be just what you need. You can find their materials here which include information on how to identify the insects, instructions on what to do if you locate them, steps we can take to control their spread and an assessment of their severe risk to New York State. There is a link at the top to a short (and alarming) video made in 2018 with good visuals on spotting an infestation. This poster has pictures of the invasive pest at all stages of development and helps to differentiate it from "lookalikes", while providing reporting information.
Within NYC, the New York City Parks Department is coordinating with state and federal agencies in tracking and developing approaches to dealing with SLF. You can report any signs of infestation to NYC Parks by sending an email to Forest.Health@parks.nyc.gov, including photos and the location of infestation. They add this note to their spotted lanternfly bulletin:
"Harming our city’s wildlife is prohibited, but in an effort to slow the spread of this troublesome species, we are putting out a one-time call: if you see a spotted lanternfly, please squish and dispose of this invasive pest."
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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