Killed our first spotted lantern fly while walking by Cornell Tech on
Roosevelt Island 😞
— kathleen (@kathleenyano)
September 18, 2021
I asked Roosvelt Island resident and
Have you noticed if the Spotted Lantern butterfly is a problem yet on
Ms Delfico replied:
Spotting the Invasive Spotted Lanternfly & Why it Matters
As someone who stops to smell the daisies, and notices all the living things
dependent upon the plants around us, I started hearing about the Spotted
Lanternfly from experts in the insect world and urban naturalist community
months ago. The hope was it wouldn’t come to NYC, but having been spotted in
Pennsylvania everyone knew it was on its way.
So much of our work is about protecting public open green spaces and
restoring balance by nurturing plantings to attract pollinators like the
butterflies, wild bumble bees, birds and flower flies that any talk of
killing a living thing is disturbing. Getting the word out is important, as
is educating the public on the invasive, albeit beautiful, Spotted
Traditionally, there are checks and balances in nature. Introduced and
invasive species of insects, plants, fish and birds often don’t have
predators to keep their populations from exploding in number. And that is
the case with the invasive Spotted Lanternfly which sucks sap, weakening
trees and leaves a sticky residue prone to sooty mold. The natural predator,
a parasitic wasp, doesn’t live here. And even though there is a study
happening right now to see if local and migrating birds will eat it, there
isn’t a lot of time to waste.
So while the life cycle study of the Monarch butterfly may lead to
protecting it, please watch this two-minute video from
Pennsylvania State University
to become familiar with the Spotted Lanternfly in all cycles of its life –
from egg to nymph to adult – and learn what to do.
Do you think you found Spotted Lanternfly in New York? Report it to NYS Dept.
Agriculture and Markets,
using the Spotted Lanternfly Public Report.
According to the NYC Parks Department:
… Harming our city’s wildlife is prohibited, but in an effort to slow the spread of this troublesome species, we are putting out a one-time call: if you see a spotted lanternfly, please squish and dispose of this invasive pest….
Roosevelt Island Garden Club
President Neil Weissman adds:
They arrived in PA a few years ago and now they are in all five Burroughs of
NY. I have a friend in NJ who owns a Tree of Heaven, their favorite tree, and
a swarm of Spotted Lanternflies have covered her garden. I have seen a couple
on Governor island last weekend. We have seen them in the Roosevelt Island
garden and elsewhere on the island. I have personally killed 2 so far. (Kill
one this year so you do not need to kill 50 next year.) They are harmless to
humans but deadly to trees and plants. They like to climb trees so they must
have thought I was a tree when it climbed up my leg before I killed it after
several attempts. They hop around when you try to step on them.
In addition to putting up a ‘Wanted Dead” poster on our bulletin board about
the Spotted LanternFly we recently sent out this notice to our garden club
These insects are active late in the day and at night. Bring your rolled
up newspapers, your fly swatters, your boots with heals and crush this
enemy of our trees and plant. We need to move fast because they move like
grasshoppers. This is the time, the month of September is when they lay
their eggs. Look for that brown peanut brittle spread. It could be on the
bark of a tree or on any hard surface, rocks, bricks, metal, wood. Remove
it, destroy it.
They are notorious hitchhikers. Please try not to bring them from any
gardening center in another borough, NJ, or PA. Lets act early and
vigilantly before they can establish their swarming colonies.
Today, I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) what they are doing about the Spotted Lanternfly. No response yet.