“Destructive Invasive Pest” Christmas Tree Farms in Five States Being Bugged by the Spotted Lanternfly
Greetings Decorating Enthusiasts –
Welcome back to another edition of the Team Santa Inc. News Daily. Today we continue our story with what officials are calling a “Destructive Invasive Pest”. Apparently this insect, called the spotted lanternfly and has been spotted at live Christmas tree lots in 5 states in the northeast part of the U.S. The bug from what we understand is not poisonous, but it can enter your home latched onto your live Christmas tree if you use one. New York State Environmental Conservation and Agriculture have confirmed that both live and dead spotted lanternflies were found at a tree nursery in Deer Park, Suffolk County, which is in NY. Apparently they arrived via a shipment originating from Pennsylvania and headed to the east cost carrying live Christmas trees.
“We are closely tracking spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive pest that has the potential to severely impact our state’s agricultural and tourism industries,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release. Newman Copelow, long time industry expert says “that this outbreak of insects does not have to be a concern if you use an artificial Christmas tree. The threat only exists through the use of live or real Christmas trees”. Copelow continued, “the new artificial Christmas trees they make these days look more realistic than ever” Plus “you can buy one with LED Christmas lights” already pre-installed. Then you can connect your tree to your computer or other smart device”. He said, “It’s not quite clear why people are still using real Christmas trees in 2018”. In addition to the potential for fire, customers who purchase live Christmas trees must be on the lookout for insects in their homes this holiday season.
Spotted lanternfly infestations were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since been found in New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia, New York. There is anticipation related to the risk of the spotted lanternfly to populate the batches of live Christmas trees being delivered. According to the DEC, spotted lanternflies are at first black with white spots before turning red when they become adults. They start to appear as early and April each year. They are approximately one inch long, with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are gray and black, hindwings red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe. Adults lay eggs on nearly anything from trunks, roots, firewood, furniture and even cars. Now the bug can enter your home or business via your live Christmas tree. This has caused great concern among Christmas tree growers and their affiliates. Shipment of real Christmas trees originating at this time are being refused and told not to ship. Some say thousands of Christmas trees have already been affected by the outbreak. “Given the widespread devastation this invasive pest can have on our agricultural crops, we appreciate all efforts to identify and report the spotted lanternfly in New York State,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. If you believe you’ve found spotted lanternfly in New York the DEC asks you to take the following steps: Take a picture of the insect, egg masses and/or any signs of infestation. Send it by email to [email protected] Note the location (address, intersecting roads, landmarks or GPS coordinates.)
Until next time, Happy Decorating!
Team Santa Inc.