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Connections

Joro spiders, spotted lanternflies: Understanding invasive pests in our area

Four smiling people wearing headphones sit at a table in a radio talk studio: A woman front left has long blonde hair and is wearing a black top and yellow pants; a woman back left has short brown hair and is wearing a blue sweater; a man back right has short dark hair and a dark beard and mustache and is wearing a red t-shirt; a man at right has short dark hair and is wearing a purple patterned button-down shirt
Gary Pudup
/
WXXI News
(foreground) Whitney Carleton, (background) Amy Slentz, and Matt Gallo on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Thursday, June 6, 2024

You may have seen recent headlines about Joro spiders – large, brightly-colored spiders that are making their way across the country, including on the East Coast. Scientists say they pose little risk to humans, and instead, we should be concerned about other invasive pests.

It seems that every year, a new invasive species is in the headlines – from the spotted lanternfly to the LDD moth, to the emerald ash borer.

Experts in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region say nearly everyone in the area has likely encountered an invasive species -- either in a park, along a lakeshore, or in a backyard.

This hour, our guests help us understand invasive species in the region and the impact they've had on humans, the environment, and the economy.

Our guests:

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.