• Outdoors Outdoors

Woman shares dilemma with managing pesky spotted lanternfly populations amid invasion: 'Now I'm ... crying'

"That's a natural response!"

"That's a natural response!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

Pilates instructor Helen (@helenvphelan) recently documented her emotional reaction to killing a spotted lanternfly.

The TikTok video, which has over 1,500 likes, is sparking conversation about the invasive species and the toll of eradicating them.

@helenvphelan Brb gonna go feel guilty all day #crimeofbeingsmall #tiktokpoetry #spottedlanternfly ♬ original sound - Helen • Intuitive Pilates

In the video, Helen says: "So, I know we are supposed to kill the spotted lanternflies when we see them because they're a threat to the crops and all of that, but TikTok has rotted my brain to the point where … I just killed one, and all I can think about is the poem, 'I Hope No One Kills Me for the Crime of Being Small,' and I hear the song.

"And now I'm f****** crying."

Spotted lanternflies are invasive insects that can do serious damage to trees, crops, and other plants. From Asia, they were first detected in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014 and have since spread to several other states, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

While killing these insects may feel heart-wrenching at the moment, it's an important step in protecting native ecosystems.

Invasive species such as spotted lanternflies can outcompete native species for resources, leading to biodiversity loss. They can also transmit diseases and cause significant economic damage to agricultural industries.

Commenters on Helen's video offered words of support and encouragement.

"It's okay, that's a natural response! We really need to squish them in this case though. Post your battles on TikTok and we'll cheer you on!" one user wrote.

Another commented, "Don't feel guilty for trying to help the environment."

As someone else put it, "I stopped feeling that way when a swarm made a home for themselves outside my doorway and trapped me inside."

While it may not feel good at the moment, taking action against invasive species is crucial to protecting our planet's delicate ecosystems, including the one in your own backyard. Every small choice we make can have a big impact.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider