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State takes new action to combat grape-killing bug

State News
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New York is taking new steps to take on an invasive bug that can impact apple, grape and hops crops.

Earlier this year, state officials said the spotted lanternfly had been reported in the Albany area and in Penn Yan on private property near Keuka Lake. We’re told the bug can do serious damage to a number of plants including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets says the fly stresses plants and makes them more vulnerable to disease and attacks from other pests. On top of that, officials say the fly “also excretes large amounts of sticky ‘honeydew,’ which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.”

To combat the destructive bug, the DEC has issued a “quarantine” to restrict the movement of certain goods from states dealing with the fly including Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

It includes:

• Brush, debris, bark, or yard waste. 
• Landscaping, remodeling, or construction waste.
• Logs, stumps, or any tree parts.
• Firewood of any species. 
• Packing materials, such as wood crates or boxes.
• All plants and plant parts, including but not limited to nursery stock, green lumber, fruit and produce and other material living, dead, cut, fallen (including stumps), roots, branches, mulch, and composted and uncomposted chips. 
• Outdoor household articles, including, but not limited to, recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, and any equipment associated with these items, and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors. 
• Any other article, commodity, item, or product that has or that is reasonably believed to be infested with or harboring SLF.

The state is also encouraging residents to continue making reports if they see the bug. You should sent the location of the report, time and a photo to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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