Invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly, are often linked to destruction. Spotted lanternfly happens to be a native of Southeast Asia that came to the US state of Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, it is known to decimate fruit trees and ornamental plants. Now, the species has appeared again in New Jersey and other parts of the US, and officials are urging people to immediately kill a spotted lanternfly if they spot one. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture claimed that it does not harm humans but is invasive.
This week, the department announced that it will be providing funding to all counties in the state to help control the spotted lanternfly invasion. These counties are expected to receive as much as $15,000 or possibly more for chemical treatment activities against the bugs.
New Jersey officials have urged drivers to inspect their cars for the bugs and their eggs. “If you find any of these life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly, remove, devitalize, place in a sealed bag, and dispose of bag in the garbage,” the department said.
Mercer County Park Commission took to its official Facebook handle and shared images of the species. The commission highlighted on how it is the best time to set up circle traps on trees and help decrease the population of this invasive species. “The Tulpehaking Nature Center has free Spotted Lanternfly Traps for anyone who wants one. Stop by Wednesday-Friday from 10am-4pm. Instructions are provided to show you how to set up traps and why it’s important to catch adults before they can lay eggs! We have SLF traps available at the Nature Center, for free,” the caption read.
This is not the only species that has spread to the US from Asia. Big and scary-looking Joro spiders are also one of those. In a few short years, the golden webs spun by the bright yellow, dark blue and red spiders have become a common sight throughout the state, and new research suggests they will clamber up the Eastern Seaboard next.
“The reason we got involved in this project was because they literally fell in our lap,” Andy Davis, an ecologist at the University of Georgia, told AFP.