This article was featured in the 2022 Spring Newsletter by Mitch O’Neil-NYiMapInvasives. 

Last year’s “Claim A Grid Square” initiative is back – pick your spot to survey for spotted lanternfly this year (over 70 squares claimed already!).

In 2021, we saw spotted lanternfly expand into several areas in NY. Luckily, volunteers across the state took action – 169 grid squares across the state were claimed and surveyed, and nearly a thousand spotted lanternfly records were submitted to iMapInvasives (thankfully these were almost all not-detected reports in upstate NY!)

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on a variety of plants including grapes, hops, and maple trees, posing a severe threat to NY natural resources (visit agriculture.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly for more info). SLF has been found in several locations in NY but has not yet spread to much of the state. One potential pathway for the spread of SLF is its preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven (ToH), which is already found in many locations across NY.

 

 

Luckily, spotted lanternfly has not made its way to SLELO yet – but when it does, we want to know as soon as possible. And mapping any locations of tree-of-heaven will help us identify some of the most likely spots for SLF to show up.

We are seeking volunteers like you to look for SLF and ToH in your area a couple times throughout the year. You can help protect New York’s agriculture and forests by knowing what to look for and how to report it to New York’s official invasive species database, iMapInvasives.

To learn more about this project, sign up for a grid square, and register for our upcoming virtual event on May 25th, 1pm, visit: nyimapinvasives.org/slf.

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