Asian Spotted Lantern Fly – Have you heard about it? What’s Bedford Thinking?

We are under attack! The Spotted Lantern Fly, which is native to parts of southeast Asia, is here in Massachusetts. 

It was first spotted in the U.S. in 2014, in Berks County, PA. Little was known about its potential impact at the time.

Unlike in its native region, there are no predators of the Spotted Lantern Fly in the U.S.

It doesn’t cause any harm to humans or animals—it doesn’t bite, sting, or contain venom– but it can do massive damage to native trees and plants and is a particular threat to grapevines, maple trees, and black walnut trees, all vital to the US grape, orchard, and logging industries. 

In other words, your wine and syrup are in danger!  

 

The life cycle of the Spotted Lanternfly: Top left, 1st stage of its life cycle. Top right, as the Lanternfly matures, it becomes red with black and white patches. Bottom left and right, Adult Spotted Lanternfly ~ Image, National Park Service/Shenandoah National Park (c) 2022 all rights reserved

While it may sound funny, experts are encouraging people to kill the Spotted Lantern Fly on sight: if you see it – squish it.  Having people kill the Spotted Lantern Fly is a short-term strategy as scientists continue to develop long-term, sustainable solutions.

The Spotted Lantern Fly even came up during a recent Bedford Explained Podcast – Goes to the Dogs. The podcast discussed (among other dog subjects) teaching dogs to detect the Spotted Lantern Fly eggs.

We have reason for concern, as the Spotted Lantern Fly has been sighted in central Massachusetts, and will probably soon be here in Bedford! 

A recent YouGov poll found that 64% of people asked had never heard of the Spotted Lantern Fly.    More on the Fly: Why Scientists Want You to Kill Spotted Lanternflies, TIME Magazine Aug 19, 2022.  

If you do see a Spotted Lanternfly, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture wants you to report it. Visit State Agricultural Officials Ask Residents to Report Sightings of the Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

What’s Bedford Thinking?   How much have you heard about the Spotted Lantern Fly?

Ready to be counted? Vote in the poll until noon next Saturday. You’ll find the poll in the right-hand column on The Citizen’s main page, or by scrolling to the bottom of your phone or tablet


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

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David Caron
David Caron
1 month ago

Be aware that squishing these bugs is not easy. They will sit there, very still, but just as you get ready to step on or swat them, they suddenly jump several feet away.

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