Lanternfly found in Yates County
PENN YAN--The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) have confirmed the spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Yates County. A single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan.
"DEC and our partners at the Department of Agriculture and Markets are closely tracking the spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive pest, as part of our ongoing efforts to prevent its establishment and spread in New York. This pest has the potential to severely impact our state's agricultural and tourism industries," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "We are encouraging the public to send us information to bolster our efforts-they are our eyes on the ground."
Following the report, DEC and DAM immediately began surveys throughout the area. At this time, no additional insects have been found. Potential sightings can be reported at email@example.com.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "It's critical that we monitor for and control this invasive species, which can weaken plants and have a devastating impact on our farm crops and agricultural production, especially apples, grapes and hops. Since our farmers are among those facing the greatest potential impact, we ask them to join us in helping to watch for the spotted lanternfly and signs of infestation, and report any sightings immediately."
The SLF is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), maples, apple trees, grapevine and hops. SLF feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky "honeydew," which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.
The SLF was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since been found in New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. Given the proximity to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey infestations, New York state is at high risk for infestation. While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. SLF lay their eggs on any number of surfaces such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood. Therefore, the insects can hitch rides on any outdoor item and be easily transported into and throughout New York.
Jennifer Grant, Ph.D., Cornell University Director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program said, "Knowing that this pest was likely to arrive, we have been working with our state partner agencies to develop integrated strategies to get the word out and manage SLF in grapes, hops, apples and other susceptible crops. It's imperative that the public help slow the invasion and spread by reporting possible sightings and acting responsibly when traveling in quarantine areas."
Adult SLF are active from July to December. They are approximately one-inch long and half an inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Adults begin laying eggs in October. Signs of an SLF infestation may include:
• Sap oozing or weeping from open wounds on tree trunks, which appear wet and 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 developing.
For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/113303.html.