The Lycorma delicatula, better known as the spotted lanternfly, is one of the most destructive insects. Originally from Asia, this noxious weed made its way to the United States about seven years ago.
There are dangers to trees and plants, crops, vineyards, and even jobs when this occurs. Then there’s the “honeydew,” which can turn into mould, dribble onto cars and patios, or become dangerously slippery to walk on—and it just stinks when its scent hits your nostrils.
Kill Them All
Quite endearing, don’t you think? Many eco-warriors advise you to go ahead and squish that bug if that’s the case. People in some areas have been told to shoot the insects as soon as they see them because environmentalists are so concerned about what the spotted lanternfly could do to their ecosystems.
“Die, Beautiful Spotted Lanternfly, Die,” read the headline in the New York Times. There is a call to “Kill it!” from Pennsylvanians. Take the time to get rid of what you don’t need.
Forensic biologist Jennifer Forman Orth, an environmental biologist at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, was besieged with questions about this invasive bug when live adult spotted lanternflies were discovered in Fitchburg, Mass., in September. A dozen states have now reported infestations.
You must Destroy it
The adult firefly is a stunning sight, with its spotted, bright red wings and tiny, bumble bee-like body. U.S. federal and state officials have issued a joint warning to the public: if you see the insect, you must destroy it.
This past July, California issued a quarantine order to help stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly. It forbids the importation of host plants and other commodities from areas with active spotted lanternfly infestations.
Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are just a few of the states that have passed laws banning the transportation of objects that could harbour spotted lanternflies.