Preparing for Spotted Lanternfly
Earlier today KVH staff attended a workshop on preparedness for the potential arrival of Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) in New Zealand.
This invasive pest feeds on over 70 different plant species including kiwifruit and is one of our most unwanted threats.
Hosted by the Te Puke Plant & Food Research team, the workshop started with a fantastic in-person presentation and discussion on SLF impacts and management from Julie Urban from Pennsylvania State University.
Julie detailed the USA’s experience and findings in dealing with this unwanted pest for almost a decade now, including what they’ve learnt about feeding habits; distribution and life stages; impacts and damage; management options and potential global distribution.
Attendees – from a wide range of local biosecurity organisations and teams – then workshopped New Zealand’s response planning for this pest and in particular, the preparedness activities we can initiate now, both within the kiwifruit industry and wider sectors, to ensure we are able to detect its presence and limit its ability to establish.
From here, KVH will continue to work with Plant & Food Research and other potentially affected industries to build our knowledge. You can read more about the work undertaken so far in the kiwifruit industry on the KVH website here.
If you missed out on attending the day there are a couple of great, brief, news stories on SLF in the USA that are worth looking at:
- Julie recorded a brief podcast with Science Friday (a news site for entertaining science), discussing the impacts of SLF and what to look out for.
- A video about how SLF was first found in Pennsylvania when a wildlife specialist noticed one on his garage door one evening, and how growers and locals have tried to manage it since.