Nov 15, 2018, 11:10 AM
What is the spotted lanternfly (SLF)? Spotted lanternfly, Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, SLF is an invasive pest from Asia that primarily feeds on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also feed on a wide variety of plants such as grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, fruit trees and others. This insect could impact New York's forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries. Identification Nymphs are black with white spots and turn red before transitioning into adults. They can be seen as early as April. 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 on nearly anything from tree trunks and rocks to vehicles and firewood. They are smooth and brownish-gray with a shiny, waxy coating when first laid. Where are they located? SLF were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since been found in New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. In New York, a dead insect was found in Delaware County in the fall of 2017. In 2018, insects were reported in Albany, Monroe, Yates and Suffolk counties. Following the reports, DEC and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) staff immediately began extensive surveys throughout the area. At this time, no additional insects have been found. What is the risk to NYS? SLF with closed wings, Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, SLF pose a significant threat to New York's agricultural and forest health. Adults and nymphs use their sucking mouthparts to feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species. This feeding by sometimes thousands of SLF stresses plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excrete large amounts of sticky "honeydew," which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. New York's annual yield of apples and grapes, with a combined value of $358.4 million, could be impacted if SLF enters New York. The full extent of economic damage this insect could cause is unknown at this time. Although native insects also secrete honeydew, the size of SLF and the large populations that congregate in an area result in large accumulations of it. The sticky mess and the swarms of insects it attracts can significantly hinder outdoor activities. In Pennsylvania, where SLF populations are the densest, people can't be outside without getting honeydew on their hair, clothes, and other belongings. How do they spread to new areas? SLF can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. They often hitch rides to new areas when they lay their eggs on vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone, etc. and are inadvertently transported to new areas. What are the signs of an infestation? Sap oozing or weeping from tiny open wounds on tree trunks, which appears wet and may give off fermented odors. One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old egg masses are brown and scaly. Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold. What is being done? Oozing wounds on a tree Photo: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, DEC is working with DAM and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address SLF. Since it is less expensive and easier to deal with a pest before it becomes widespread, the goal is to find SLF early or prevent it from entering NY altogether. A plan has been developed that describes how the agencies will prevent and detect SLF in New York. Extensive trapping surveys will be conducted in high-risk areas throughout the state as well as inspections of nursery stock, stone shipments, commercial transports, etc. from Pennsylvania. DEC and partner organizations encourage everyone to be on the lookout for this pest. Exterior Quarantine To slow the spread of SLF, DAM issued a quarantine that restricts the movement of goods brought into New York from quarantined areas in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The quarantine requires regulated articles, such as packing materials, landscaping and construction equipment, and nursery stock to have certificates of inspection issued from the impacted states. Inspections are being conducted across New York by DAM and its partners to check for SLF and compliance with the regulations. For more information and for a list of regulated articles, see please visit DAM's website (leaves DEC website). Protective Zones In an effort to detect SLF early and respond in a timely manner, DEC has established a Protective Zone encompassing 20 counties located near the PA and NJ infestations. Protective Zones allow DEC and its partners to conduct activities such as surveying, monitoring, and management to find and prevent the spread of SLF. Protective Zones are established in the following counties: Bronx, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Kings, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster and Westchester. What can I do? Learn how to identify SLF. Inspect outdoor items such as firewood, vehicles, and furniture for egg masses. If you visit states with SLF, be sure to check all equipment and gear before leaving. Scrape off any egg masses. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture webpage (leaves DEC website) for more information on SLF in PA. SLF egg masses on a tree, Photo: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York... Take pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs as described above (include something for scale such as a coin or ruler) and email to OR fill out a reporting form (leaves DEC website). Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.) Report the infestation to iMapInvasives (leaves DEC website.) Resources: SLF fact sheet (PDF, 450 KB) USDA APHIS (leaves DEC website) Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (leaves DEC website)
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As summer winds down and we find ourselves nearing the last weeks of baseball season, we begin gearing up for football.  There might be one thing many Americans take just as seriously as the actual game, and that’s the tailgate party. In stadium parking lots across the country, the party that happens before the game can be just as exciting as the game itself and for some just as serious. Some people pack up a cooler of beverages and sandwiches and call it a day while others load up campers or trailers, set up a grills and try to outdo the person next to them. Fun is had by all; however, the impending cleanup is always in the back of everyone’s mind, and the rush to clean up and get into the stadium on time turns into an Olympic sprint.  Anyone who has ever tailgated knows the importance of planning ahead for convenience and clean up. Start by making an accurate assessment of how much food and beverage can be consumed in the time you have. Like all parties, the cleanup is the worst part not to mention the thought of putting a full bag of garbage in your vehicle if dumpsters aren’t available. My suggestion, go with paper.  Paper products, including cups, napkins and plates are an easy solution for transport and clean up convenience, the environment and the economy.  Many people are unaware that the paper and packaging industry is an important part of the U.S. economy. The industry has product sales of $130 billion a year, employs almost 375,000 people, provides almost 1.2 million in associated jobs and pays approximately $30 billion in annual compensation. As for the environment, 90 percent of U.S. mills that produce tissue paper (paper towels and napkins) use some recovered paper to make new tissue products, and 18 of these mills use only recovered paper. Additionally, 65.8 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling not to mention compostable types of paper products are readily available.    So on game day, remember to print out your tickets and that BBQ recipe, and whether you are a super fan of the game, the grill, or both; think about using paper.
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