‘Very invasive.’ Spotted lantern flies could damage Long Island’s farming scene

Tiny bugs can be wreaking havoc on Long Island agriculture.

State officials warn that hummingbirds that have devastated parts of Pennsylvania are on their way.

Arborist Thomas Jones says they will do a lot of damage.

“It is highly invasive and causes extreme damage to hardwoods, ornamental fruit trees and vines,” says Jones.

This Asian bug was first documented in Pennsylvania in 2014. It has since been confirmed in New York City and parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Harmless to humans and pets, the red hoverfly can wreak havoc in Long Island winery regions because of its penchant for eating grapes.

“If you find a single lanternfly in a vineyard, it doesn’t do much damage. says Chris Roeg, director of plant industry.

Rogue says that Long Islanders should squash and kill any bugs they find, and report them as soon as they are found east of MacArthur Airport.

Experts say there are some large colonies established on Long Island, but given their movements, it won’t be long.

“After it was first introduced, it would probably take several years for the population to grow enough to see a lot of damage,” Rogue says.

Officials say residents can contact their local arborist to see if the pesticide is right for their plants and area.

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