University Park, Pa. – In September 2017, in the morning of the morning church service in the village of Huff Church in Berks County, parishioners greeted the dots with many dots flying around their place of worship – or more appropriate.
Hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of colorful plants landed on the building and flew into the air near nearby trees. Those who failed to jump from brick to branch fell to their last steps on the steps of the church and on the lawn.
“People were amazed,” said Emily Schamer, one of the eyewitnesses. “We felt invaded. I think we are being invaded. ”
Swaqhammer, a horticultural educator with Penn State Extension, took the opportunity to share her knowledge of the first pest in Berks County in 2014. The insect comes from Asia and is interested in more than 70 species of fruits and vegetables. Trees, vineyards and ornamental plants.
Swakhammer assured her friends and neighbors that they would not pose a threat to them or to the church. “People can be frightened by the number of light flies they see,” she said. I’ve heard people say that people don’t want to shop in certain stores when the fans are seen around the doors.
Scientists at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences were studying the invasive vegetation behavior, including the so-called early summer harvest disintegration flights.
However, that reference is incorrect – at least from a theological point of view – as an extension teacher who is as familiar with X Corman as the Swakhammer pest.
“When certain insects are stimulated by chemical and environmental signals, they generally tremble,” says Corman. “There may be a trigger that can be used to fly individual fans, but we have no indication that they are intentional groups.”
Fans are also involved in flight activities in small populations, but it is relatively unknown compared to areas where the population is much higher and flight behavior is more pronounced.
As research continues, the current hypothesis as to why adult spotlights work in this way is focused on the need for food, says Komo Hoover, a professor of ecology.
When it first falls, the desert fly’s favorite food, the Alantus altisima, commonly known as the sky tree, grows old, which means that the sap stops moving and leaves its leaves. At the same time, spotted lights can often be seen moving to other trees.
“We believe they will leave the area when they feel they have run out of food and want to get better,” Hoover said. Eating too much heavy food on the same trees, such as the sky tree, can deplete the food supply, and this motivates them to move on to other suitable foods.
Hoover added that this behavior may explain in part why the population was not so large next year. However, once the trees have “recovered,” a large number of them may reappear in that area.
Whatever the reason, being in the middle of one of these masses can be devastating, especially for those who do not know the pest. However, the educators emphasize that spotlight does not bite or bite, and that the behavior is short-lived, lasting a few days.
Damage to buildings is another concern expressed by citizens and business owners. However, unlike other insects, spotlighters are not trying to enter structures or houses to find shelter from flies, Sackhammer said.
“The adults die in the snow,” she said. “The only way to survive is to lay eggs. It can cause discoloration by eating more than the bulbs that feed on flies and stone flies.
For educators, the most problematic aspect of point-and-shoot activities is their ability to spread to other regions. At petrol pumps, there is a potential for vehicles and goods to be transported to new locations as they are pulled to the front of shops and the tall roofs, ”said Corman. “It is important to check the condition of the vehicle before leaving the vehicle.”
Finally, the question arises – “Do pesticides help?” – Teachers remember their response to safety, environmental, and regulatory concerns about the use of pesticides. “Some of the pesticides used outside the structures have a few weeks left to work, but new spotlight may continue to appear, so spraying will not completely eliminate them,” Swakhammer said.
They strongly recommend that you do not use home remedies such as dish cleaners and the like. Instead, they recommend using mechanical methods such as swinging and trampling to kill as many insects as possible.
“Remember that it will not be long before you catch one of these flight events,” said Swaqhammer. No matter how unpleasant it is, you just have to wait for it.
More information on contaminated lamps can be found online at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.