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How invasive species are affecting homeowners and farmers in Western New York and the Finger Lakes

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Last summer, a homeowners throughout Western New York reported unseasonably barren trees and trees covered in caterpillars. The cause? An infestation of a moth called Lymantria Dispar Dispar -- or LDD. This summer, farmers say a different invasive species is wreaking havoc on crops: the spotted lanternfly. The insect is native to China and as CITY Magazine reporter Gino Fanelli writes in a new piece, "their attack on fruit crops, like grapes, can best be described as vampiric."

This hour, we talk about these invasive species and their impact on homeowners and farmers. Our guests:

  • Gino Fanelli, reporter for CITY Magazine and WXXI News
  • Brian Eshenaur, senior extension associate for ornamental crops at New York's Integrated Pest Management team at Cornell Cooperative Extension  
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Finger Lakes Grape Program

Copyright 2022 WXXI News. To see more, visit WXXI News.

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack the producer of Connections with Evan Dawson and Unleashed: The Pet Show. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and The Olympic Zone, and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.
Emmarae Stein