Dappled lanterns explode across New York and New Jersey
NEW YORK – By now you have probably seen.
They are native to China and Southeast Asia, but have made their way to our area and lately have become a nuisance in New York.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to the experts about.
“They’re a threat,” said Staten Island resident Ryan MacGarrigle.
McGarrigle talks about dappled lanterns, which he’s no stranger to on Staten Island.
“They’re everywhere. They’re all over the trees. That’s the worst,” he said.
On Manhattan’s West Side, they’ve become the talk of Drew Braxton’s office.
“We were all talking about how it’s a little weird seeing large amounts of them. I don’t see them as much in Brooklyn, personally. Definitely here on the West Side, they tend to congregate along the glass and all that,” Braxton said.
Along 11th Avenue, people try to get around them, but experts say that’s not to worry about.
“Step on them. Do whatever you can. Use a bottle. Use duct tape. Use a vacuum cleaner and kill them. And the reason why we don’t have a natural predator for them right now,” said Timothy Wong, technical director of pest control company MMPC.
“What’s wrong with their population growth?” DeAngelis asked.
“The problem is they’re going to start invading our crops,” Wong said. “It’s going to have a huge impact on agriculture.”
Wong says that while they aren’t harmful to people, they are a nuisance. He has an eco-friendly way of killing them.
“The active ingredients in these are rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and they kill and repel most bugs,” Wong said.
Unfortunately, they’re not just here in town. Experts say spotted lanterns have spread to New Jersey.
“Every county in New Jersey has active populations of spotted lantern flies,” said Saul Vaiciunas.
Vaiciunas, a plant pathologist with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, says there are state-funded programs to help counties spray. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is also working with federal partners to control pests at transportation hubs, so they don’t spread out of state.
“The USDA is working hard now to find something that can be released to control the spotted lanternfly,” Vaiciunas said. “We’re hoping that eventually we’ll get these populations to a point where they’re barely noticeable. That would be the ultimate goal.”
Currently, the New York Department of Agriculture is prioritizing areas around wine regions, asking people outside of New York to report sightings of spotted lantern flies.
For more information on the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, CLICK HERE.
The New York Department of Agriculture has the following advice:
- New York residents should kill Mottled Lanterns whenever they see them while walking on them. Spotted lanternfly sightings in New York City do not need to be reported
- If you live outside of New York City, you should: take a photo, collect a sample and place it in the freezer or in a work with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer, and contact responders spotted lanternfly material
- Once you report it and collect a sample, you need to kill every other Mottled Lantern you see.
The New York City Department of Agriculture says the spotted lanternfly is primarily a threat to agricultural crops, and while it does not kill trees, it weakens trees in severe infestations. He also urges residents to kill them on the spot.