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Invasive pest that threatens vineyards found in the Finger Lakes region

Adobe Stock/Lee

An invasive species that experts say poses a great risk to New York’s agriculture industry has made its way into the Finger Lakes region. 


The spotted lantern fly has been found in the Ithaca area according to Chris Logue from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.. 


He said among the issues the insect brings, it secretes a sooty mold which can be particularly damaging to vineyards. 


``If not contained, spotted lantern fly could have an impact in New York state of, we think, about $300 million annually, and again, mainly to the wine and grape industry,” he said. 


Logue added that the spotted lanternfly could have a direct effect on New York’s grape production, currently ranked third in the nation.  


Treatments that will be used for prevention include “trap-trees” with a synthetic insecticide, a full-year applied pesticide, and treating any egg masses with a soybean-based product…. 


``In reality, probably the way forward is that we use a combination of all those different treatment methods at various times of the year,” he said. 


Logue notes the spotted lanternfly is a weak flyer, but is a very capable hitchhiker. 


The main way that it moves from place to place over long distances, is through human assisted movement. 


Click here for more information on the Spotted Lanternfly.