STATEN ISLAND, NY – The spotted lanternfly is a known hazard to more than 70 different plant species, but some may wonder if it poses a threat to animals and pets.
The invasive species has wreaked havoc on Staten Island as swarms have been spotted flying around the borough. As dogs and cats are curious creatures, they may eat the insect.
The good news is that the spotted lanternfly doesn’t carry any diseases that would impact domestic or wild animals, according to Chris Logue, director of plant industry at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. .
Since the spotted lanternfly has a piercing-sucking mouth, it feeds on plants, not animals. So you or your pets don’t have to worry about being bitten by the insect.
The spotted lanternfly poses no danger to animals or pets – unless the animal consumes large numbers of insects. But even then, the incident would not be life-threatening, according to Logue.
“No issues as far as animal health is concerned, and as far as is known at this stage, no issues if the dog or cat consumes them,” Logue said. “If the dog or cat consumes large amounts of it, they will probably have problems, but nothing fatal.”
According to the Penn State Extension, no known toxins have been found in the spotted lanternfly to date. But it’s possible that your pet will try to taste one, so the safest course of action is to keep pets away from live or dead Mottled Lanterns.
If the animal ingests anything outside of its normal diet, or shows signs of injury or illness, you should consult a veterinarian immediately.
But the Cornell Cooperative Extension has issued a warning to pet parents.
While the mottled lantern has no toxins, insecticides are used as a preventative measure against the bug. Although the risk of exposure to insecticides is extremely low, you should make sure to keep your pets away from areas sprayed with insecticides.
If you see a Mottled Lantern, you can just smash it.
And if you spot an egg mass, you should immediately scrape it off its surface.
- Scrape the eggs using scraper cards or any other hard, conical and/or flat object.
- Kill eggs by putting them in lined bags, alcohol/hand sanitizer, or by breaking or burning them.
Logue said it’s important to always check your vehicle, wheel arches, your car’s grille, hood and windshield, vents and more for the spotted lanternfly before leaving an infested area.
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