Invasive Lanternfly Bug That Feasts On Hops and Apples Found In Finger Lakes
Scary news for fans of apples and hops here in Central New York: a spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect has been found in the heart of the Finger Lakes.
Democrat And Chronicle reports the adult insect was found near Keuka Lake in Penn Yan, Yates County. Also, there was a discovery of a second adult in the Albany area. This is the first time this has been found in New York.
"That is not a good thing at all,” said Bruce Murray, president of Boundary Breaks winery in Lodi, Seneca County, roughly 10 miles from the spot where the invasive pest was found.
The colorful inch-long insects, native to Asia, have been in Pennsylvania for at least four years. Their arrival in New York was both expected and feared.
Spotted lanternflies feast on upstate New York's grapes, hops, apples, peaches and cherries, plus oak, maple, pine, willow and walnut trees.
"We just don’t know how big of a deal this is going to be," said Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture extension specialist for the Finger Lakes Grape Program at Cornell University. "We’re definitely concerned.
"It has the potential to be something that can cause us some problems," he said.
The insects have no natural predators in this country. They weaken and kill plants by sucking their sap. They also excrete material that further damages plants and attracts other insects. New York officials asked the public to be on the lookout for adult lanternflies.
What should you look out for? PA Department of agriculture describes it as the following:
The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1” long and 1/2” wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow."
If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away.