Spotted Lanternfly Sightings Have Nearly Doubled in New York

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Since moving to New York two years ago reports of spotted lanternflies has increased.

 This new species is more dangerous to the agricultural sector than humans.

Lanternflies, which are a vibrant but large flying insect were first observed in the city in the year 2020. Then why do New Yorkers seem to be angry about the bugs?

"We're realizing that they are in the city at present. They were not as high in the past few years, but now it's getting really crowded,

" said Brian Eshenaur who is a specialist in crop management in Cornell's Integral Pest Management program.

"We're primarily concerned about grape vineyards," said Eshenaur and cited the wine industry in New York and Concord grapes as potential target.

Spotted lanternflies first came to the U.S. in 2014, when a landscaping rock imported from Korea accidentally delivered eggs in Pennsylvania.

The insects arrived on Staten Island two years ago and have since spread to New York, with sightings also reported in states such as Ohio as well as Indiana.

In New York, the Department of Agriculture received nearly five thousand stories of sightings of lanternflies in 2017 The number of reports has risen to 9,500 by 2022.

"If you see a spotted lanternfly, please squish and dispose of this invasive pest," spokesperson Megan Moriarty told the Observer.

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