Oh... We may have been a little too harsh on this invasive species.

The all-too-familiar Spotted Lanternfly. Those red and black winged bugs that have been haunting our steps for bout 10 years in the Northeastern states? They might not be AS bad for trees as we originally thought, according to PhillyVoice.

Photo by Magi Kern on Unsplash
Photo by Magi Kern on Unsplash
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For years we've been warned how detrimental the spotted lanternflies are to wildlife, especially plants and trees. They're destructive to over 70 different types of trees and plants and their poop can attract mold, which can damage our property.

BUT...Penn State researchers did some... well, research, and have discovered that while the pesky bug is still destructive, they may not be as destructive as we initially thought.

They conducted a study of the long term effects spotted lanternflies have on northeastern hardwoods. They did this by keeping a population of the lanternflies in an enclosed space with multiple tree species for a few years.  After two years, the growth of the trees were stunted. But when the researchers reduced the numbers of lanternflies, the trees began to steadily recover. During the entire course of the study, none of the trees died...

"Therefore, in a natural setting where the insects are constantly on the move, we would not expect significant negative impacts on forest or ornamental trees," says Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology at Penn State.

So maybe they're not as deadly our trees as we thought, but they are still destructive. And they are still annoying!

Have you seen many of them this year?

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