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Lanternflies in Lower Merion

This is Ella Goodbinder reporting on the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that is causing harm to trees in our area.

This species, native to southeast Asia, has already done damage to communities and several lanternflies have been seen around the Harriton campus. While causing no known harm to animals or humans, the spotted lanternflies threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs for those in the farming industry and are spreading across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Northern Virginia.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on the sap of trees, and they discharge a material known as Honeydew. This sticky substance creates conditions such that when many spotted lanternflies attack, the crops or tree inhabited can die. One of the reasons the spotted lanternfly is so hard to exterminate is because they can lay eggs anywhere, not just on plants. They can lay them in the tires of cars, for example, and each small egg cluster can have 30-50 eggs each.

Some pesticides can be used to stop the attack on a tree, but they are not always effective and can harm the tree as well. Both the U.S. and Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture are working to suppress and eliminate these flies using biological solutions. Until then they have asked that all spotted lanternflies are to be killed and reported on their respective websites.

For Harriton TV, this is Ella Goodbinder. Now, back to the news desk.

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