Philadelphia gives advice on spotted lanterns in New York
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OK OK. We know we said last month that spotted lantern sightings were down in Philadelphia. We even asked some experts, and they agreed. Then September arrived.
Yes, at least in some neighborhoods, insects are here and in force.
It turns out that both views can be true. “They’re always there, it’s just a matter of location… It really varies from site to site,” said Brian Walsh, Penn State Extension educator.
“We recorded populations on individual properties present in the spring, largely absent for part of the summer,” said Walsh, “but then the adults quickly return in large numbers at the end of the season. [September] in time to lay eggs and start the cycle again.
Variation can occur from one neighborhood to another, and also from one region to another. This year, the insects have spread from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, West Virginia and Ohio.
And no matter what happens in Philly, one thing is for sure: some of the new spotted lantern host cities can’t cope.
A recent New York Times article under the headline “Big City” had the caption: “There is a new natural predator in New York City, and the government wants us to kill it.” Can we invoke the resolution? “
Look, Philadelphia has been playing this game for at least two years. It has become normal to walk down the street and at all times to see two or three silly people as they stomped on, crushing bugs for the good of our environment.
Nowadays, that war is almost over. Not because we stopped the campaign. It’s definitely underway, with buggy corpses still littering the sidewalk, their natural red color a poetic medium for the blood we were hoping to shed.
But because, why, we have this. We take our bug fixing mission for granted.
Philadelphia knows how to identify lantern fly life cycles – look for nymphs starting in May, prepare to spot egg masses in fall and winter – and how to demolish them. We’ve created makeshift traps, experimented with sticky paper around trees in our own backyards, and worked to perfect devices that trap lanterns while protecting other non-invasive insects. We’ve also made everything from movies to insect-inspired jewelry.
This year, however, other places are collectively losing their minds to this “beautiful” new species invading their space.
Really, it’s the good thing that people are freaking out about spotted lanterns. They are now known to infest 70 plant species and are particularly harmful to grapes and hops.
Most of the lanterns we see today are probably in the “gravid” stage of their life cycle, which means the insects are gravid and swollen by about 60 eggs.
In the September edition of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s spotted lantern fly newsletter (yes, it does exist), the agency said it has had success with a new method of treatment. called contact spraying. Scientists see “the number of lanterns seen in visual and circular trapping surveys drop and stay low.”
So New York City and the rest of the people who are learning to live with this new scourge could learn a lot from us experienced people. Here are some other quick tips.
You know the saying: if you see something, crush something.
The best moment of attack is the nymph phase. This is when the invasive species did not grow wings or change to its brownish color. Instead, they’re little black or red, spider-like, hopping things with white dots. It’s too late now, but next year crush them ahead of time.
It is still possible to interrupt another part of the life cycle of the spotted lantern fly. At the moment, the females are pregnant, swollen and ooze from their belly a yellow material which… nightmarish. This will continue until November.
The bugs don’t hatch until about May, but by then people should start looking for the gray-brownish, slimy masses on literally any exterior surface. The spotted lantern fly will lay over 60 eggs per mass anywhere from tree branches and bark to metal surfaces, patio furniture, masonry and cement.
How to destroy the masses, you ask? Well, as we wrote last year:
“Take a plastic card of your choice – your license, a debit or credit card, maybe even a business card – and scratch it on the egg mass. Really get in there. You’ll need to see tiny eggs, and maybe juice, spilling out, to know you’ve done the job.
You can also scrape the masses in a bag of rubbing alcohol. Happy hunting, NYC.