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NJ squashed thousands of spotted lanternflies. Still, it’s ‘impossible to wipe them out’

Dr. Matthew Aardema, Assistant Professor, Biology, spoke with about the invasive insect

Posted in: In the Media

Dr. Matthew Aardema by lab equipment

A public campaign this summer to “Beat the Bug!” and “Stomp It Out!” has helped bring awareness of the bug to the general public. And while some streets are littered with the carcasses of squashed lanternflies, it probably won’t make much of a dent in the population.

It’s virtually impossible to wipe them out at this point. It’s a persistent species that can feed on a variety of different plant species. They will continually radiate out.

Matthew Aardema, who has encountered clusters on hikes deep into New Jersey forests

A study by a team led by Strombom at Lafayette College estimated that about 35% of all lanternflies would need to be killed this year in order for their population to go into decline next year. One lanternfly will give rise to five to six in the coming year under the current trend, the study shows.

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