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Spotted lanternfly: Invasive species poses threat to key Finger Lakes industries

U.S. Congressman Joe Morelle is pushing hard for legislation to limit the spread of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.

The Spotted Lanternfly was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, the species native to Asia has gone to affect agriculture across the U.S. The Spotted Lanternfly feeds on crops like grapevines and hops plants, which poses a major risk to the Finger Lakes region’s vast wine and beer industry. The species is not harmful to humans.

Related: Local groups organize to combat invasive species that attacks hemlock trees

Morelle’s plan to combat the invasive species

Morelle asked for full funding from the Animal Plant Health Inspection Services Specialty Crop Pest Program in the FY 2023 Agricultural Appropriations bill.

“I am deeply concerned by the rate at which the invasive Spotted Lanternfly has spread across America and the serious threat it poses to the future of our agricultural economy,” said Morelle, according to News10 NBC. “Millions of dollars in damage to our crops and thousands of jobs are on the line unless we take meaningful action to stop its spread. That is why I am calling for robust funding to be included in this year’s appropriations bill so we can stop the Spotted Lanternfly in its tracks and protect the livelihood of our local farmers.”

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More information

You can learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly, including how to identify the species, on the state DEC website. Click here to view Cornell University’s up-to-date map of current infestation locations by region.