Jimmy Steal

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - AUGUST 6: An invasive spotted lanternfly sits crushed on a sidewalk on August 6, 2022, in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Spotted Lanternflies are all over my neighborhood, and all over my backyard. A couple of years ago, I remember reading about how people in Pennsylvania were completely freaking out over these bugs. I was like “meh”, I never saw one in my life. Little did I worry. Little did I know! According to the United States Department Of Agriculture, the Spotted Lanternfly is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. The Spotted Lanternfly feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts, guess what Jimmy has in his backyard! Yup, a giant freakin’ tree-of-heaven. Spotted lanternflies are invasive and can be spread long distances by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses. If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries. Wait, grapes. You mean to tell me these little f*ckers are going to kill the wine industry? Now that’s it! They must be stopped! But how? The US Department Of Agriculture goes on to say, early detection is critical to prevent economic and ecological losses. The public has played a key role in detecting spotted lanternfly and the success of stopping its spread depends on help from the public to look for and report signs of the pest. Here is the link to the New Jersey Department Of Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly page. https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/spotted-lanternfly

Their website has one simple sentence that pretty much sums up what do when and if you encounter this beautiful stranger: If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, help us Stomp it Out!

That’s a direct quote! So let’s review…Spotted Lanternflies. From China. Been here about a decade. Love sweet sappy trees, especially my tree-of-heaven. If left untreated, can ruin our grape, orchard, and logging industries. So unless you want your children and grandchildren to be sitting on the ground hungry, wishing they had a wooden chair and an apple, while you remember the good old days, when you had wine, you better take this seriously. Stomp It Out!