Experts warn of a dangerous invasive species spreading through Virginia

Joe Mertens

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Disclaimer: The following information was gathered from ABC8NEWS and is for 2022. It is for educational purposes.

A recent report warns of a dangerous invasive species that is spreading throughout the state of Virginia.

The species is called the Spotted Lanternfly and they can cause extreme damage to crops, trees, and vines.

Wineries and Vineyards in Virginia could be hit the hardest if the species continues to make its way across the state.

A Vineyard Manager for James Rivers Cellars had this to say in the article, "That would pretty much wipe our entire vineyard out."

The article also says that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been monitoring the insect since its arrival in 2018.

This invasive species rapidly reproduce, so VDACS has given the public tips on how they can help minimize the increase of the Lanternfly population.

David Gianino, a member of VDACS had this to say in the article about how to limit the population, "Stomping it, smashing it, or scraping it."

Another way of helping to stop the spread is to minimize the species' travel abilities. Gianino said this in the article, "It can get onto products hop onto your car, and move around as you’re driving around the state."

In another article, Gianino had this to say, "Together, pesticide treatment and the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine have slowed the spread of this invasive pest."

He goes on to say, "However, surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that spotted lanternfly populations have now become established in other cities and counties."

The Spotted Lanternflies assemble together and drink large amounts of sap, which drains resources from the plants. After that, they release a substance called honeydew that leads to the growth of mold that prevents photosynthesis.

Ben Rowe, a Virginia Farm Bureau district field services director had this to say in the article, "Beyond direct damage to crops, the lanternfly also poses a risk to any business reliant on import and export of goods between states, as other states consider quarantines to prevent the spread of the invasive species."

Preventing the spread of this species will be important to protect Virginia's wine industry.

What do you think about this? Have you seen this invasive species before? Comment below and let me know! Feel free to share this article with people who you think should read it.

You can click the following link to go to the article where the above information was found: https://www.wric.com/news/virginia-news/spotted-lanternflies-could-devastate-virginia-wine-industry/

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