Since, pretty much every item sold in the US finds it self on a truck at some point, the trucking industry sometimes finds itself faced with some interesting situations. This summer, drivers who make trips to New Jersey and Pennsylvania need to be on the lookout for the spotted lanternfly (SLF) to protect New York’s growing agriculture and tourism sectors.
SLF is an insect from Asia that feeds on a wide variety of plants such as grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, and fruit trees. In the four years since initial detection, some growers in those industries have lost most of their trees to the destructive species. SLF has been detected in New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. As of publishing SLF has not been detected in New York and we’d like to keep it that way.
Unlike most flying insects, the spotted lanternfly only flies a short distance, more like hopping. They can however lay hundreds of eggs in under an hour on anything that sits still, including vehicles and trailers. They are especially drawn to firewood, outdoor furniture, stone, etc. Make sure drivers and mechanics are aware of this problem, and what to look for, particularly egg masses on vehicles. Be extra careful if you transport any of the above-mentioned commodities.
Adults begin to appear in July and are approximately 1 inch long and ½ inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are grayish with black spots. The lower portions of their hindwings are red with black spots, and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe. In the fall, adults lay 1-inch-long egg masses that are smooth and brownish-gray with a shiny, waxy coating when first laid. If you suspect you have found the insect or its eggs, take photos and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, They will advise on the next steps.
The combined value of New York’s annual yield of apples and grapes is $358.4 million. Vineyards, breweries, and orchards are growing throughout the state. We must do all we can to protect them.