‘Fungus’ Found on Hudson Valley Trees is Actually Dangerous Pest
Hudson Valley residents are being warned to look out for tree masses that are hiding an extremely dangerous pest.
Now that spring has officially sprung in the Hudson Valley, residents are venturing back outside and discovering what nature has been up to over the winter. As homeowners clear their yards of debris and fire up the mower for the first time, officials are urging them to keep an eye out for something dangerous that may be lurking on their trees or other items stored outside.
This tree mass shown in the photograph below may seem like it's part of the tree or maybe some sort of fungus, but that's not what it is at all.
While this tree looks like something out of The Last of Us, the fungus-looking bump isn't a mushroom that's going to turn you into a bloodthirsty zombie. It may, however, cause some serious damage to your yard, neighborhood and the entire Hudson Valley.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the bump on this tree is actually a nest harboring dangerous lanternfly eggs. The spotted lanternfly has been a major concern of agricultural experts for quite some time. This invasive pest from Asia is mostly found feeding on Ailanthus Altissima, commonly known as the tree of heaven, however, its nests can be found on other varieties of trees, old tires, decks, fences and other outdoor debris.
Recently, reports of these nests have been made in Newburgh and other areas of Orange and Dutchess County. If left to thrive, the lanternfly can have a devastating impact on local forests, agriculture and even tourism.
If you find one of these masses on any surfaces around your home or yard, the DEC says you should immediately destroy it by scraping the mass into a bucket of hot, soapy water or a container filled with hand sanitizer. Before destroying the mass, however, officials request you take pictures of the insect mass with some sort of ruler or coin included for scale. Those photos should be sent to email@example.com.
So, while you're surveying your property this spring, keep your eyes open. You could be helping to save your neighborhood and the rest of the Hudson Valley from serious destruction.
What to know about the spotted lanternfly and the tree of heaven
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