'Extremely invasive.' Spotted lanternfly could cause damage to Long Island agriculture scene

A tiny bug could be causing big damage to Long Island's agriculture.

News 12 Staff

Aug 8, 2022, 9:54 PM

Updated 675 days ago


A tiny bug could be causing big damage to Long Island's agriculture.
State officials are warning that the spotted lanternfly, which has devastated parts of Pennsylvania, is headed our way.
Arborist Thomas Jones says they are going to do a lot of damage.
"Extremely invasive, does extreme damage to hardwood trees or ornamental fruit trees and grape vines," Jones says.
The bug originally from Asia was first documented in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, it has been seen in New York City and parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The spotted lanternfly, which is harmless to human and pets, could wreak havoc on Long Island's winery region since they love to feed on grapes.
"One spotted lanternfly in a vineyard is not gonna inflict heavy damage - it's going to be a situation if you have a large population of them in a vineyard," says Chris Logue, director of the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Plant Industry.
Logue says Long Islanders should squish and kill the bugs when seen - and report them immediately if they are discovered east of MacArthur Airport.
Experts say a few big colonies have been established on Long Island - but with the way they are moving, it won't take long.
"From first introduced, it probably will be a couple of years' time before you'll have a population up to a point where you are going to see a lot of damage," Logue says.
Officials say residents can contact their local arborist to see if pesticides are appropriate for their plants and area.

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