Hornets vs Lanternflies
I get called for a lot for hornet removals and I hear a similar phrase often:
"I don't care about saving them, they are not useful like bees"
Then the Lanternfly arrived! Lol
Staten Island only has one Hornet but we think we have two. The European Hornet is rarely seen on SI and is often confused with the Giant Asian Hornet. This species is actually called "The Gentle Giant" in the beekeeping world since they are extremely docile despite their large size.
More commonly found on SI is the Bald Faced Hornet, and median sized black and white wasp. That's correct, despite their common name, they are wasps and not hornets. Their nickname is "Nature's Exterminator"
The Bald Faced Hornet spends most of its time hunting and killing other Insects, Gardeners and Farmers have loved them for years for this reason. Recently we seem to just want to kill them, not understanding how much they protect us.
2021 the Lanternfly arrived in NYC…. By 2022 they became our newest most hated Insects. By late summer 2022 I was removing Bald Faced Nests filled with red spotted wings! That's right, they started hunting and feeding off the Lanternfly!
Just like the Honey Bee or European Humans, the Lanternfly is "invasive" and is causing havoc as the environment adjusts to its new member. But! They are here to stay, let's let nature do her thing, we as humans don't know how to stop them yet, but we can help the Bald Faced Hornet do their thing as they help us!
Respect to our native Bald Faced Hornets!