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What is a Spotted lanternfly and Why Might it Cost $22M To Squash Them?

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Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, is calling for federal funds to eradicate the spotted lanternfly, which is once more spreading across numerous states this year.

What is a spotted Lanternfly?

The spotted lanternfly has returned to the country’s cities of New York, New Jersey, and other locations. Many states are at risk of invasion due to the pest’s propensity to hitchhike, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claims it will need $22 million in federal money to eradicate them statewide.

If the spotted lanternfly population continues to grow, it will pose a multi-million dollar threat to New York’s tourism and agricultural industries, according to Schumer on Sunday.

According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the spotted lanternfly, a native of China, first appeared in Pennsylvania in 2014. It is black, white, and red throughout (APHIS).

There are now pests in 11 states. More than 70 plant species, including fruit trees and vines, are consumed by them, and they expose their hosts to illness.

Using an interactive map that was most recently updated on August 8, Cornell University’s New York State Integrated Pest Management has been monitoring the pest’s confirmed locations.

What could happen if they spread?

The financial consequences could be severe. A spotted lanternfly infestation in Pennsylvania cost the state about 484 jobs and $50.1 million in 2019, and if it wasn’t controlled, it was expected to cost at least $324 million a year.

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the state’s apple and grape output alone is worth $358.4 million, and the “full level of economic damage this bug could bring is unknown at this time” (DEC).

If the spread continues, the “grape, orchard, and logging industries” might be badly impacted nationwide.

What could better money do?

While some actions are already being taken, according to Schumer, more must be taken if the invasion is to be properly stopped.

To combat the spread of the disease in New York, multiple departments are cooperating through trapping surveys, and inspections.

In order to combat the spotted lanternfly, which is “now nearing its adult stage and will soon start producing egg masses that will hatch next spring,” New Jersey declared that it will compensate counties up to $15,000 for their costs.

In the 2019 budget, Schumer is advocating for $22 million in federal funding for the APHIS program. Additional funding, according to him, will “improve their work with states to avoid & control invasive species like the Spotted Lanternfly” and aid in raising awareness among the general public.

According to Schumer, “We need to eradicate this virus before it spreads, or otherwise our farmers and local businesses could suffer millions in damage and an uncontrollable swarm.”

What should I do if a spotted lanternfly appears?

For people to record where they saw a spotted lanternfly, many states have their own reporting system.

Anyone who finds a spotted lanternfly outside of a quarantine region is asked by the APHIS to contact their State Department of Agriculture to report its location. Finally, smash it.

The spotted lanternfly has returned to the country’s cities of New York, New Jersey, and other locations.

Many states are at risk of invasion due to the pest’s propensity to hitchhike, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claims it will need $22 million in federal money to eradicate them statewide.

If the spotted lanternfly population continues to grow, it will pose a multi-million dollar threat to New York’s tourism and agricultural industries, according to Schumer on Sunday.

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