Invaders from China

Spotted Lanternfly Management for Residents | University of Maryland  Extension

We’ve been seeing these strange bugs in the neighborhood. It took me a while to find out what they are, but now I know–it’s the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species from China and Southeast Asia. That’s why I didn’t recognize them: they’re new here, having first appeared in Pennsylvania in 2014.

They’re rated a major pest of trees and crops, they crossed the Delaware into New Jersey just a couple of years ago, and now they’re all over the place and government conservation authorities are looking for a way to get rid of them.

Their outer wings, as you can see, are dull and spotted; but when they take off, you see their scarlet underwings and the bright red “tail-light” on the tip of the abdomen. We can testify that they like to land on people. Because it’s a large and completely unfamiliar insect, this can be alarming. But they’re only harmful to plants.

We have enough insect pests of our own, thank you, without importing more. We now have undersized Japanese mosquitoes that give you oversized bites that itch like hell.

Globalism ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be.