ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking New Yorkers to watch out for and report signs of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF). Freezing temperatures kill adults SLFs, but the eggs they lay in the fall are visible and can survive throughout the winter.
During this time of year and for the next few months, be on the lookout for “egg masses”—they are about 1.5 inches long, and look like dried and cracked mud. Egg masses are formed on flat surfaces like vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, and trees.
If you’re shopping around for the perfect Christmas tree, stick to local sources. According to Cornell’s Brian Eshenaur, a plant doctor who works with statewide tree growers: “Buying local helps reduce the possible transmission of pests into a new area. Although most pests are dormant at this time of year there’s a new pest, the spotted lanternfly, which has shown up in some larger Christmas tree growing regions of the country. Although they don’t feed on Christmas trees, they could hitchhike on a tree grown from outside our region and, once, here affect local agriculture.”
Take a picture if you find an egg mass, note the location, and report it to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.