In a study, published in Nature magazine early this month, there were some worrying predictions on the spread of Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) across the USA. SLF was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since spread to 11 surrounding states. The report states that if SLF spread was left unmitigated and unmanaged, they expect the pest to spread to California as soon as 2027 and to establish across almost the entire country by 2037.
The main pathways across the USA are railroads and accidental human-mediated transport (as SLF lay eggs on shipping material, stone, railroad cars, and even vehicles). The SLF is one of the kiwifruit industry’s most unwanted threats and there are several projects underway to ensure we are prepared for its potential arrival.