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Bye-Bye, Lanternfly

SEEING SPOTS The spotted lanternfly has red and black markings on its wings. This one was seen on a sidewalk in Jersey City, New Jersey, on August 6. GARY HERSHORN—GETTY IMAGES

“Kill it! Squash it, smash it . . . just get rid of it.” Those are instructions from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. They’re part of an effort to stop the spotted lanternfly. Across the eastern United States, officials are asking people to help keep the bug’s population from spreading.

“The damage this invasive species can do in harming important crops and impacting our food system is real,” Chris Logue said. He works for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. He spoke to the New York Times.

The spotted lanternfly comes from Asia. In 2014, it was found in Pennsylvania. Now it has shown up in 13 states. People are spraying pesticides. They’re cutting down ailanthus trees. Those are a favorite of the sap-eating insect.

“I don’t like killing things,” says Stephen Nixon, in Brooklyn, New York. But when he saw a lanternfly on the ground, he stomped on it.

Stop & Think! What quotes do you see in the article? Where do they come from? What do these quotes tell us about the lanternfly problem?