Insect That Threatens Fruits & Trees Found One State from Iowa
The state of Pennsylvania says if it's not controlled, this insect could cost the state over $320 million annually. A hefty price tag for an insect that first showed up in the U.S. just seven years ago. Now, it's been confirmed in the Midwest, just a state away from Iowa.
Three summers ago, NPR said an insect known as the Spotted Lanternfly could be the worst invasive species in the United States in a century-and-a-half. The insect is believed to have made its way to the east coast of the U.S. from Asia, in 2014, aboard a ship.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that a 4-H entry at the Kansas State Fair set off alarms. The insects display included a Spotted Lanternfly which, to that point, had only been confirmed as far west as Indiana. The boy who entered the dead insect said he'd found it on his northwest Kansas property. He had no idea what he had but a judge recognized the insect and reported it to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you haven't figured it out by now, there's a lot of concern about this insect. Here's why.
According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship,
Adult insects and nymphs of spotted lanternfly typically feed in large groups causing oozing wounds on woody trees and shrubs, and can cause wilting and death of branches. Large groups of this pest produce ‘honeydew’ which is actually a waste product from the insect’s feeding.
The large amounts of honeydew attract other insects and promote the development of sooty mold on the surfaces of the leaves and branches, which can give the tree a black fuzzy appearance, and further reduce the plant’s resources by blocking sunlight for photosynthesis.
When trees are severely impacted by spotted lanternflies, the base of the tree and areas around it can actually turn black.
So what will they impact? Lots of things. Grapes, lilacs, apple trees, tulips, and the American rose are among things the Spotted Lanternfly is said to love. Thankfully, Iowa Tree Pests says they don't typically bother perennial or annual plants that have non-woody stems. At least that's something.
Between the Emerald Ash Borer destroying our ash trees and the Japanese Beetle wreaking havoc on some other trees and plants, we certainly don't need another invasive pest. Unfortunately, one appears to be at our doorstep.
The video below has much more on the Spotted Lanternfly. If you see one, kill it. Then report it HERE.