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How invasive species are affecting homeowners and farmers in Western New York and the Finger Lakes

Spotted lanternfly
Adobe Stock/Lee
Spotted lanternfly

Last summer, a homeowners throughout Western New York reported unseasonably barren trees and trees covered in caterpillars. The cause? An infestation of a moth called Lymantria Dispar Dispar -- or LDD. This summer, farmers say a different invasive species is wreaking havoc on crops: the spotted lanternfly. The insect is native to China and as CITY Magazine reporter Gino Fanelli writes in a new piece, "their attack on fruit crops, like grapes, can best be described as vampiric."

This hour, we talk about these invasive species and their impact on homeowners and farmers. Our guests:

  • Gino Fanelli, reporter for CITY Magazine and WXXI News
  • Brian Eshenaur, senior extension associate for ornamental crops at New York's Integrated Pest Management team at Cornell Cooperative Extension  
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Finger Lakes Grape Program
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
Emmarae Stein is the production assistant for "Connections with Evan Dawson."