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If New Yorkers see this bug, let the state know — then kill it

 An example of a spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest making its way into New York
An example of a spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest making its way into New York

State officials are warning residents about the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive species from Asia that represents a threat to New York’s agriculture, and especially the wine and grape industry.

Early notification is key in combatting the Spotted Lanternfly, according to Chris Logue with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. He said if people see one of the insects, they should take a picture and go to the department’s website to report it.

“Upload a picture, it loads into our surveys system,” Logue said. “It does allow us to parcel out those sightings and prioritize them for further inspection and survey.”

Logue says the state wants to prioritize being able to follow up on reports on sightings from upstate, and in particular around the grape growing regions. The state has different strategies when it comes to combatting the Spotted Lanternfly, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. For downstate residents, particularly in the New York City Area, people are urged to kill the pest if they see one.

Logue said the biggest concern is the pest’s potential economic impact on New York’s $300 million dollar wine and grape industry.

“The total economic impact of all invasive species in the U.S., exceeds $70 billion per year,” Logue said.

The Spotted Lanternfly has been reported in Tompkins and Broome counties, but hasn’t yet been seen in big populations in central and northern New York.
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