Vineyards and orchards beware: The spotted lanternfly is in New York

Regional News

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — An invasive species has made its way to New York.

While it’s not been reported in our immediate area yet, some are saying it could be, and places like wineries and apple farms need to keep an eye out.

The spotted lanternfly can disrupt grapes, apples, and other crops. First spotted downstate in 2020, it’s now in places like Rockland County and Ithaca. Marci Muller with the Cornell Cooperative Exchange says it’s a concerning pest for vineyards and orchards. 

“They make a mess because there are so many of them — and they all excrete,” said Muller.

Excreting something called “honeydew,” which attracts other bugs. They also drill into plants, which leaves them open to disease and other insects. 

“As they start to move into our area, we’re really going to be focusing on those,” Muller said.

Muller says the lanternfly isn’t here yet, but it’s on the move. At Wickham Farms in Penfield if that pest, or any others show up, you better believe they’re ready for it.

Bill Wickham says they have specialty inspectors looking at apples and everything else.

“And they’re coming out on a weekly basis and actually scouting and counting how many pests are out there,” he said.

So far, so good. 

“Fortunately, we’ve not really had any problem with this crazy spotted lanternfly. Yet,” he said.

Wickham says colder weather is around the corner. With that, most of these pests will trail off, but their guard is always up. “

We’re constantly on the prowl, watching and taking care of it when we need to,” Wickham said.

Muller says whether it’s the gypsy moth, mosquitos, or the lanternfly, it’s always something to keep researchers and farmers busy. “

You know I mean, it’s all a part of nature,” she said.

Cornell University officials say the lanternfly is native to Asia and was first discovered in the US in 2014 in Pennsylvania. 

Photo provided by Marci Muller

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.