A New Pest. And an Old One

Spotted Lantern Fly now in Virginia.

“A potentially very serious pest of grapes, peaches, hops, and a variety of other crops, the spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, was detected in Frederick County, Virginia, on Jan. 10, 2018.”

It’s host plant for hatching its eggs and hosting its young: Ailanthus–Tree of Heaven. A match made in, well…

In Pennsylvania…

“The red and black spotted lanternflies are native to China and feed on sap, essentially sucking plants dry. They go after grapes, but researchers have seen them invading apple trees as well. In December, Pennsylvania state officials quarantined Christmas tree growers in 13 counties to prevent the insect eggs from traveling to other states.”

We are likely to hear more–a lot more–about insect issues as winters get milder and natural cycles become disrupted by unpredictable patterns of temperature and rainfall: climate chaos.

Author: fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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