And Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Spotted a spotted lanternfly this afternoon at Pennypack Park on the Delaware River in Philly. It was lying dead on the back trail leading to the bridge over the creek. At least I thought it was dead since the bug wasn’t moving, giving me the chance to take a few photographs. Here’s another shot from the other direction:

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture:

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam.  It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth.  This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops, and hardwoods.  It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

Fourteen counties in Pennsylvania are quarantined, and the state officials are asking if the bug is spotted to report the sighting online by clicking here, which I did while sending them the top photo seen at the introduction of today’s tirade. More information about the invasive species can be found by clicking here. Reporting via phone is possible as well by calling: 1-888-4BADFLY.

The aforementioned alert also stated:

What else? Kill it! Squash it, smash it…, just get rid of it. In the fall, these bugs will lay egg masses with 30-50 eggs each. These are called bad bugs for a reason; don’t let them take over your county next.

Not knowing what to do with it at the time, I utilized my size-eleven boot intuitively to flatten that sucker out, leaving it belly-up and making sure it wouldn’t create any more havoc:

It’s a shame those flies are invasive and destructive. I think they look rather sharp—patriotic even— making me wonder how they got here in the first place. Possibly they stowed away on a slow boat from China that docked in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond. Who knows?

Lately, I’ve been photographing more insects than birds. Seems like a greater portion of the former are around at this point, being it’s getting to be the end of summer, what with Labor Day Weekend upon us. Happy holiday, by the way, for those in America and Canada who are celebrating.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about wooly worms and not having seen any yet this year. Well, as luck would have it, one crossed the same trail as where the lanternfly lay squashed. Why? To get to the other side, and guess what? The larva’s reddish band took up the caterpillar’s whole body:

That predicts the forthcoming winter is going to be completely mild, which is too good to be true. The other morning we had another fog, making a total of four for August, meaning we should expect four snowstorms. We’ll see.

I’m looking forward to the fall foliage and cool temperatures, pulling the leather jacket out of the black-hole closet for the upcoming season. The garment is getting rather old and tattered, unfortunately. Perhaps it’s time to buy a new one. The weather has been wonderful lately. I wish all of summer would be as comfortably temperate.

So goes another weekly payment to the gods of the blogosphere. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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