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Homeowner baffled by insect swarm invading backyard: 'These bugs are everywhere'

"Those are not bugs, those are demons from hell."

"Those are not bugs, those are demons from hell."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Reddit user recently shared a disturbing photo with the r/mildlyinfuriating community. The caption reads: "These bugs are everywhere! Everywhere and on everything."

The image shows a bug trap densely covered in small black and red insects.

"Those are not bugs, those are demons from hell."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Fellow Redditors quickly identified the swarming critters as spotted lanternflies, an invasive species native to parts of Asia, according to New York's Department of Environmental Conservation.

First detected in the U.S. in 2014, these colorful plant-hoppers have now spread to 17 states, mostly in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The bugs' striking appearance belies their destructive impact. Spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of over 100 plant species, including grapevines, hops, fruit trees, and several hardwoods. They weaken plants and excrete a sticky "honeydew" that promotes mold growth, as the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources notes.

Left unchecked, lanternflies pose a major threat to the agriculture and forestry industries. In Pennsylvania, where the infestation is severe, officials estimate potential losses of $324 million annually and 2,800 jobs. Homeowners also bear the brunt, as the insects swarm decks, playground equipment, and outdoor furniture.

While the situation seems dire, we can work together to slow the spread and protect our yards. Experts recommend thoroughly inspecting outdoor items, scraping off egg masses, using tree traps, and reporting sightings to local authorities.

As one Reddit commenter vividly noted: "Those are not bugs, [those] are demons from hell." 

Another lamented that lanternflies "literally cause bug juice to rain on people while simultaneously destroying crops."

By taking simple actions in our own yards and communities, we can protect vulnerable plants and industries from these voracious insects. A little vigilance goes a long way in preserving native ecosystems and safeguarding our food supply.

Though admittedly gross, the spotted lanternfly should motivate us to be proactive against invasive species for the sake of our environment and economy. So let's roll up our sleeves, break out the bug traps, and show these critters who's boss. Working together, we can stop spotted lanternflies from bugging us further.

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