A few dead and living spotted lanternfly adults and egg masses were recently discovered by a student in an apartment parking lot nearby the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY.
This finding adds to the growing list of areas in which SLF infestations have been confirmed in New York this year including Staten Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, and Orangeburg.
Spotted lanternfly can devastate New York’s agricultural and tourism industry and threatens our forests. The recent discovery of SLF in Ithaca, is of particular concern due to its close proximity to the extensive Finger Lakes vineyards that support New York’s wine and tourism industries.
Spotted lanternfly feeds on over 70 different plant species including, grapevines, hops, fruit and nut trees and maple trees. SLF feed in large numbers and excrete honeydew that attract sooty molds; these molds interfere with plant photosynthesis and impact crop growth and yields. The honeydew impedes tourism as it puts off a foul odor and attracts stinging insects.
Since 2017, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program have taken an aggressive approach to prevent the establishment and spread of SLF in New York. External quarantines that restrict the movement of goods brought into NY from quarantined areas have been instated. Inspections of nursery stock, stone shipments and commercial transports from quarantine areas have been and continue to be conducted, and partners across the state are collaborating on a state-wide education and outreach campaign to raise awareness and ask the public to look for and report SLF.
The main mode in which SLF is being spread is through the unknowing transport of hitchhiking insects and egg masses on vehicles, outdoor gear and equipment and boats/trailers. The public is encouraged to thoroughly check their vehicles and gear for SLF adults and egg masses before traveling, especially when traveling to and from states with SLF quarantine areas including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia.