Taking on spotted lantern flies

Daniel Strömbom, assistant professor of biology, was quoted in an article by The Washington Post, published in March, titled: “Squashing lantern flies isn’t enough. Here’s how to kill them.” In the article, Strömbom suggests that the widespread removal of an invasive tree called the tree of heaven might help: When the lantern flies feed on the stinky tree of heaven, they, in turn, become stinky—and perhaps unappealing to predators. If the insects feed elsewhere, maybe birds would be more likely to eat them, or learn from other birds eating them.

The Post also references a study by Strömbom and his former students Amanda Crocker ’23, Alison Gery ’23, Autumn Sands ’22, Grace Tulevech ’22, and Kelly Ward ’22, which was recently published in Royal Society Open Science. Their study uses a mathematical model to look at how social learning in birds might help mitigate spotted lantern flies.

Read The Washington Post article.

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