Lanternfly infestation faces big money battle cry from Senator Chuck Schumer
New York, New York - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is going to war with the spotted lanternfly in New York, and he's requesting millions in government money to help him do it.
If you spend at least a day in NYC, you are bound to come across the infamous and dreaded spotted lanternfly – and you may see random people trying to stomp on the creepy critter.
That's because the pest is ruining New York state agriculture, which may bring huge economic problems in the near future.
"For years now, I have warned about the pest, but now we are demanding action because pockets of Upstate New York are now infested by the bug that wreaks havoc on trees, vineyards and crops," Schumer said during a press conference on Sunday near Central Park.
The New York senator went on to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to share $200 million in federal funds to battle the invader.
"This is a multi-million dollar threat to New York’s economy – both tourism and agriculture are now at risk if the spotted lanternfly goes unchecked," he added.
"The good news here is that we have federal funds already in place, that I secured, to help New York contain the bug and that we will be pushing for more."
The lanterfly is threatening New York industry
The lanternfly feeds on the sap of plants, which makes them vulnerable to disease and other pests, according to reports. This is affecting New York's grape and apple industries, which each bring in billions of dollars per year and employ thousands of people.
"Summer is the perfect time to relax outdoors with a nice New York Riesling, but the rapid spread of the invasive spotted lanternfly threatens to suck the life out of our vineyards, agriculture and great outdoor tourism industry," Schumer continued. "We need to stomp out this bug before it spreads, otherwise our farmers and local businesses could face millions in damage and an unmanageable swarm."
If you happen to see a spotted lanternfly, do humanity a favor and kill it!
Cover photo: Collage: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture & Kevin Dietsch/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP