TN Dept Of Ag. Gives Update On Spotted Lanternfly
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has given an update on a new pest, the spotted laternfly. According to experts the laternfly populations can get out of control fast. State Entomologist Cindy Bilbrey says that the spotted laternfly is an invasive species meaning it’s not from here, in its case it is from Asia. Bilbrey says in its native range it could have pests and diseases that could affect it and keep its populations in check. Because we don’t have those checks and balances the populations could explode in new areas and becomes a nuisance to homeowners, in field grown nursery stock, as well as orchards and vineyards. Bilbrey says she was recently in Pennsylvania and one person told her they couldn’t sit on their back deck because they couldn’t step without stepping on a spotted lanternfly, as populations can get very heavy. Especially in the fall when the adults are flying looking for places to lay egg masses and mate.
She says the spotted lanternfly can feed on trees and shrubs and in large numbers it releases a honeydew, and the honeydew can get a sooty mold on it and so it reduces the ability for the tree or shrub to use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar and in time can kill the tree. The spotted laternfly has now been spotted in Northeast Tennessee.