The Dreaded Spotted Lanternfly
Just the other day I lost my virginity. NO, It’s not what your thinking. Rather, I am speaking of becoming a card carrying member of the Spotted Lanternfly killing club. No longer do I have to wonder what it might be like to squash that broad winged invader into a pile of bright wings and bug splat. Yes, it’s true...even the quiet ones score eventually. How did this monumentus event take place you ask? Well, I was on a second story roof checking on a rogue tree that happened to be growing out of the chimney and out of the corner of my eye there it was. Flaunting its colors while warming itself in the afternoon sun it sat. My eyes lit up as I thought to myself of all the others doing their environmental duty and that I might be able to alleviate my own desire. I raised my foot high with extra might and slammed it down on the warm asphalt only to see the winged target jump just out of reach as the sole of my sneaker hit. Dang it! Them buggers be fast! They happen to jump more than they actually fly and they are quite good at it too.
My pulse quickened as I leapt myself and raised my foot once again in hopes that it would not get away and that I would miss my chance. Once again the sole of my shoe came down with a thud. It was just on the late side for the second time. A few feet away the wings slightly fluttered in a can’t catch me manner. I can only imagine what this looked like from a distance. A guy two stories up running around on the roof and foot stomping most likely looks like a not the smartest thing in the world to do. I remind you that I have a Master’s degree, so let me be in my conquest. Haha.
As they say, the third time's the charm. Kablaamm!!! Contact has been made and the nuisance pest has made its last getway. I must say that in all the humor that there is quite a bit of seriousness. The Spotted Lanternfly is a true invader from China, India, Vietnam, and eastern Asia and very destructive. Invasive species such as this whether they be plant, animal or insect cause much environmental damage and cost billions of dollars in damages. There seems to be an extra large awareness of the Spotted Lanternfly. Rightfully so as agriculture is a large part of our economy. My hopes are that this also brings a larger awareness of all the others as well.The negative consequences of invasive species are far-reaching, costing the United States billions of dollars in damages every year.
Compounding the problem is that these harmful invaders spread at astonishing rates. Usually non native species have no predators or environmental controls to keep them in check. Just use the Burmese Python’s devastation of the Florida Everglades as proof of that. Such infestations of invasive plants and animals can negatively affect property values, agricultural productivity, public utility operations, native fisheries, tourism, outdoor recreation, and the overall health of an ecosystem. All in all there is no joking concerning the Spotted Lanternfly or any other invasive species.
- Thomas McTaggart