Today I noticed something different at the riverfront here in Harrisburg. Unlike two days ago, the Spotted Lanternfly has reached the brush along its sidewalk.
A lone grasshopper leaped ahead of my path there at the time. The grasshopper aside, summer bugs along the riverfront tend to stay abuzz in the brush. The Spotted Lanternfly, on the other hand, collides into you from the shrubbery.
Or without it, like in downtown.
So far, I've seen the Spotted Lanternfly -- an invasive species -- mostly downtown. Last week, I noticed columns of the Federal Building plastered with yellow adhesive. On the adhesive were remnants of the red-and-black insect, which looks like a moth or butterfly. (Maybe the Capitol Complex across the street was treated with a repellent, insecticide, or something.) I've also seen the bug Uptown and, this week, on either the Hill or the South Side.
"Kill it! Squash it, smash it... just get rid of it," says the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Come fall, these plant-killing pests are expected to lay dozens of eggs each. Dauphin County and surrounding counties are under quarantine for the Spotted Lanternfly, which is native to Asia. The department requests that counties not under quarantine call 888-4BADFLY to report a first sighting, or do so online.
But first thing's first: If you see one, "Kill it! Squash it, smash it... just get rid of it."
Jubalyn ExWilliams lives in Pennsylvania (United States). At the time of this writing, she serves as founding chair of the Harrisburg NAACP Environmental Committee. You can find her writings and commentaries, including "Spotted Lanternfly in Harrisburg," at landturn.com/blog.
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