N.Y. Times: As War Against Spotted Lanternfly Intensifies Across Nation, Some Stand Up to Defend Invasive Pest

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spotted lanternfly on tree
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As the spotted lanternfly continues its spread across eleven states, including Pennsylvania, some are taking the invasive pest’s side and resisting kill-on-sight orders, writes Sarah Maslin Nir for The New York Times

The conscientious objectors to the all-out war on the insect have a wide set of reasons for taking this stance. Some are vegans who believe that killing the bug is wrong. Others believe that the threat posed by spotted lanternflies has been overblown, while another group is repulsed by the glee with which some are annihilating the pest. Some even find the insect too cute to kill. 

Despite officials having framed the campaign against the spotted lanternfly as an act of civic duty, Lee Weiss, of Philadelphia, a former instructor of Buddhist philosophy, has not crushed a single bug. 

“It’s phrased in almost moral terms,” said Weiss, referring to the rallying cries that are mobilizing forces against the colorful insect. 

Meanwhile, Media resident Catherine Bonner only shares her sympathy for spotted lanternflies with close friends knowing her opinion is unpopular. 

Spotted lanternflies “didn’t ask to be invasive, they are just living their own life,” said Bonner. 

Read more about the spotted lanternfly in The New York Times

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