Podcast: Wasps from China could help combat spotted lanternflies threatening US vineyards

lantern fly diptych custom c fecee f d a b a d e f cd e s c
Image: Dan Charles/NPR

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, first showed up in the United States five years ago, right here in Berks County, Pa. Nobody knows exactly how it got here. Most likely, some eggs hitched a ride across the Pacific on a shipping container

[T]hey were everywhere …. An army of gray bugs, each one about an inch long, black spots on their wings, was climbing the trees’ trunks.

Now there are hordes of them spreading across the state and beyond. Chances are, they’ll eventually reach most of the country. “It’s an insect that lays its eggs on anything, including things that get transported,” [Heather Leach, an insect expert from Penn State University, says]. “It hops on vehicles and can hold on” as you drive.”

Related article:  Will China tell the world about its third controversial CRISPR baby?

The people who are getting hit first, and hardest, are vineyard owners. Leach takes me to see one of them: John Landis, co-owner of Vynecrest Vineyards and Winery, west of Allentown.

“We’ve never had a situation like this in 40 years,” he says. “If it starts to decimate your vineyard, it could cause people to go out of the winery business. It definitely kills vines.”

Original podcast: Vineyards Facing An Insect Invasion May Turn To Aliens For Help

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend