ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Spotted Lanternfly is raising concern among state environment experts who said the species can now be found in the lower Hudson Valley.
Brian Eshenaur, an invasive species expert at Cornell University, said they have not made it to the Capital Region yet, but their recent spread across downstate New York is raising alarms for grape vineyards and wineries.
“Especially late in the season, this insect flocks to our vineyards and can really weaken the vibes and they may not survive the winter,” Eshenaur said. “That has happened, entire vineyards have been lost in Pennsylvania.”
Eshenaur said the state is escalating efforts to prevent the Spotted Lanternfly from spreading to other areas of the state.
He said if you’re traveling to different areas of the state, you should check your car to make sure the lanternfly is not attached and to kill them if you see them.
“Citizens who see it can do something as simple as stomp on it, there are traps for those people who have them in their yards they can put traps around trees to contain them,” Eshenaur said. “Some people are even using vacuum devices to suck them off of the plants.”
Eshenaur said you should report any sightings to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Some signs of a spotted lanternfly population include a shiny substance on leaves called Honeydew.
“Insects are attracted to this honeydew and you might see more yellow jackets in the area,” Eshenaur said. “Then after a period of time, a black mold grows on the substance and so you might see that as the first sign.”