For the past two years, New Yorkers have dutifully stepped on spotted lanternflies as instructed by public officials. But this campaign to squish without mercy may not be working as hoped. Sightings of the invasive bug were up in the summer of 2022, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture.
In the cooler weather, the spotted lanternfly is now moving to the next stage of its life cycle. Freezing temperatures kill the adults, but spotted lanternfly eggs can survive a long cold winter on just about any surface—trees, vehicles, buildings, and more. The spotted lanternfly is a major threat to agricultural crops–it’s also an excellent hitchhiker, meaning what happens in the city can have a major impact on the farms upstate.
Join three experts on a three-borough journey to learn where these eggs are found in the city, what they look like, and what New Yorkers should do if they spot them.
About the author(s)
Jiayu Liang is a Columbia University Stabile Fellow. She covers science and environment, specializing in audio.