Senator Schumer Urges USDA to Use Federal Funds to Fight Invasive Spotted Moth Flies

Senator Chuck Schumer has called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use federal funding to tackle the red hoverfly problem.

Environmentalists encourage residents to step on spotted lantern flies if they come across them.

Officials say pests are particularly invasive to the agricultural industry.

Schumer is asking the USDA to use the $200 million already set aside for New York State.

Next year’s budget will push the use of an additional $22 million for New York’s integrated pest management program, he said.

Schumer adds that insects can be found in nearly all areas of upstate New York, putting northern wineries and crops at potential risk.

He said invasive lantern flies feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species, leaving the plants vulnerable to disease and attack from other insects.

State officials say they plan to use federal funding to conduct captive surveys, collect data, and monitor different populations of the insect.

They also say they will use the funds to educate the public on how to identify spotted lantern flies and report sightings to the state.

Authorities are asking residents to check their cars for lantern flies before traveling.

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