The Student News Site of North Allegheny Intermediate High School

NA Eye

The Student News Site of North Allegheny Intermediate High School

NA Eye

The Student News Site of North Allegheny Intermediate High School

NA Eye

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Spotted Lanternfly Epidemic Grows

Grayson Black
A warning sign about Spotted Lanternflies in North Park.

What’s black, white, and red all over? Spotted lanternflies, and they’re making a big mark at NAI.

Everyone has seen the gray and black spotted bugs outside practically everywhere around the North Allegheny area. What they don’t see is the damage these pests cause just by existing in our region. They are multiplying at an alarming rate, sending our ecosystem into a panic.

These speckled little pests are native to Vietnam and China; however, they’ve infected The United States, specifically the Northeast, with their invasive and unwelcome company. It all began in 2014, when the bug was first identified in Pennsylvania. They earned the title of invasive in early 2022. They may be small, but they present a big problem.

“If we don’t do something soon, they will do very bad things to our ecosystem,” says one NAI biology teacher, Doctor Melissa Gallo.

They don’t just have an appetite for trouble. The bulk of their diet is taken up by essential members of our ecosystem. Their main host is Trees of Heaven, but they also snack on grapes, soybeans, and stone fruits. Whether it be for laying eggs or a hearty lunch, Spotted Lanternflies are destroying the gifts of our land, as well as compromising the delicate balance of our environment.

“It is very unfortunate that this invasive species is affecting our school,” said Gallo,

Why should you care? Because soon enough, the effects will be visible everywhere you turn. In fact, it’s already happening. Side walks, fences, lamp posts, and our own fields. There’s thousands of these bugs and that number is steadily rising. It is imperative that this problem is kept under control before it gets out of hand.

What can you do? See something, do something. The only way to solve this problem is to stop it at the source. Taking action is as easy as clapping your hands or stomping your feet. Help our school and our state by doing your part. See something, stomp something.

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