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Preparing for Spotted Lanternfly

Preparing for Spotted Lanternfly

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05 Aug 21 Biosecurity News

Preparing for Spotted Lanternfly

Last week KVH staff attended the first in a series of workshops on preparedness for the potential arrival of Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) in New Zealand.

SLF is a serious invasive pest, feeding on over 70 different plant species including kiwifruit and is one of our most unwanted threats.

Hosted by Plant & Food Research, the workshop was based around a webinar and discussion on SLF impacts and management with Julie Urban from Pennsylvania State University. Julie went into detail about the state’s experience and findings in dealing with this unwanted pest for the last seven years, including what they’ve learnt (and what New Zealand can take learn from) about feeding habits; distribution and life stages; impacts and damage; management options and potential global distribution.

If you missed out, we have a great alternative. A couple of weeks ago Julie recorded a brief podcast on SLF with Science Friday (an American news site for entertaining and educational stories about science), discussing the same topics, which is well worth listening to.

You can also watch a great video here about how SLF was first found in Pennsylvania in late 2014 (when a wildlife education specialist noticed one on his garage door one evening) and how growers and locals have tried to monitor and manage it.

From here, KVH will continue to work with Plant & Food Research and other potentially affected industries to build our knowledge and preparedness for how we could stop this pest from establishing if it happened to arrive in New Zealand. You can read more about the work undertaken so far in the kiwifruit industry on the KVH website here.

There are further workshops open to all in Hawke’s Bay, Motueka, Blenheim, and Clyde. Times and venue information for each is available here.

Image: Spotted Lanternfly on red maple in the USA. Credit Rkillcrazy Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0


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