Though the Lanternfly, pictured on the cover, may catch your eye due to its beautiful colors and unique design, the spotted lanternfly is not a friend of our Earth. These insects were first found in Asia but traveled to America a few years ago.
Despite its visual appeal, the lanternfly is incredibly harmful to plants and agriculture. They can cause oozing sap, wilting leaves, curling leaves, and death to plants, vines, trees, and more. The biggest target though is agriculture. The spotted lanternfly latches itself onto a plant and sucks, making it more vulnerable as each new fly comes to feed on it which makes it tremendously more vulnerable to disease.
To make matters worse, lanternflies excrete a sugary substance called honeydew which cultivates black mold hurting plants’ ability to photosynthesize and perform necessary operations. These are harmless to animals and humans but pose a huge threat to our vegetation. This parasitic relationship between agriculture and this fly is one that can be stopped if we know more about these kinds of insects and can identify them and kill them before they can cause any more damage. Some more examples are the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, the Emerald Ash Borer, and the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Although they are small, insects can have a huge impact on our already deteriorating Earth, and we need to be able to stop a spread when we can.