We have a serious threat to the beauty and natural life of the Rivertowns on our doorstep. The spotted lanternfly (SLF), a destructive insect, was spotted in Hastings on Aug. 12 and will quickly spread through our neighborhoods.

This moth-like insect drinks saps from trees, leaving behind a sticky substance that promotes mold and fungi, damaging tree health. In addition, this sticky residue will be all over your garden furniture if SLF flourishes here.

SLF was first noticed in Pennsylvania in 2014, and since has chewed its way north, through New Jersey and Staten Island. Some of the trees it targets include oaks, maples, poplars, sycamores, sumac, willows, and many fruit trees plus grape vines. It is attracted by ailanthus, or tree-of-heaven, a tree commonly found in the Rivertowns.

A stitch in time saves nine! The minute you see one of these insects, kill it, and you will help avoid swarms. To learn how to identify and suppress the SLF, please go today to hastingsgreen.org. Act now to preserve our environment for future generations.

If you have any questions, please email us at vinesquad@hastingsgov.org.

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