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Hamptons Life

Nov 11, 2019 11:27 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

New York Residents Urged To Be On The Lookout For Spotted Lanternfly Eggs Masses

Nov 11, 2019 11:38 AM

As freezing temperatures approach, the State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Agriculture and Markets are urging New York residents to remain vigilant and report spotted lanternfly egg masses.

In a joint press release, the departments advise that destructive, invasive spotted lanternflies will be killed off in the freeze — but their eggs will overwinter and, eventually, hatch.

While spotted lanternfly infestations have yet to be found in New York State, individual adult spotted lanternflies, often found dead, have been discovered in many counties, including Suffolk County.

Spotted lanternflies are of concern because the invasive insects from Asia feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven, maple, apple, grapevine and hop. They can stress the plants, and they also excrete sticky “honeydew” that attracts sooty molds that negatively affect the growth and fruit yield of plants, the departments note.

The insects can jump or fly only short distances, so the way they spread from state to state is primarily through human activity. After the adults lay eggs on vehicles, stones, rusted metal, outdoor furniture and campers, the eggs may be moved to a new area and create a new infestation.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets has instituted an “external quarantine” to slow the spread of spotted lanternfly. Packing materials, landscaping and construction equipment, and nursery stock — including Christmas trees — brought to New York from quarantined areas of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia must have certificates of inspection.

Members of the public are asked to inspect their vehicles, outdoor furniture and camping equipment for egg masses or insects. To report a sighting, email a photo and the location to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.

For more information, visit dec.ny.gov/animals/113303.html.

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