UMW entomologist can explain why it should be ‘lights out’ for the spotted lanternflyAugust 30, 20211 min read
The call for a cull has been made. Spotted lanternflies are popping up across the East Coast, and scientists are worried this invasive insect could wreak havoc on more than 70 tree and plant species, including many agricultural crops like apples, grapes, stone fruits and hop plants.
Indigenous to Asia, spotted lanternflies have been latching on to anything that moves. Residents of several states are being asked to check their vehicles as these resilient bugs are crafty enough to travel by car – quite literally hitchhiking across America.
Though harmless to humans and animals, the fast-breeding insect spews out a honey-like substance that covers plants and prevents photosynthesis, leading to an ultimate death of the plant.
Experts are advising only one remedy so far – kill them on site. Extreme measures are warranted until scientists can come up with a better plan.
There’s a lot to know about invasive species and the spotted lanternfly – and if you are a reporter covering this pressing topic, then let our experts help.
Dr. Josephine Antwi is an entomologist whose research focuses on the effects that insect pests have on crops of economic importance. Dr. Antwi is available to speak with media, simply click on her icon to arrange an interview today.