Spotted lanternflies attacking trees in region

The invasive spotted lantern fly is damaging trees in our region.

WATCH OUT! Things of beauty may be quite deceptive and may turn out not to be nearly as beautiful as one might initially think.

A prime example is the appearance of the spotted lanternflies in Chester and surrounding counties. If you saw one or two of them, with their shades of brown with black dots and black, red and white wings, you might think they are unusual and rather pretty. But, when you find out what they are doing to certain crops and trees in our area, you wish you could extinguish all of them.

They are known for liking the “tree of heaven”. However, it was proven last summer they also love maple trees, of which our community has many. \

Why would God allow such creatures to exist? It is far beyond my comprehension. I think about the Book of Exodus in the Bible and just feel creepy when thinking of the 10 plagues that God brought to the Egyptians which were all tremendously worse than the spotted lanternflies. At least we know the reason for the plagues was to make Pharaoh let the Israelites, who were slaves, free to go to their promised land.

Last year I was busy fighting the spotted lanternflies, killing hundreds, possibly even thousands of them. We had our trees sprayed by the landscapers, used the old flyswatter on them, sprayed the flies with Dawn three times, applied pesticide at the base of the trees and wrapped the trunks with tape with the sticky side out so they could not crawl up the trunk any further.

So far this year the number of spotted lanternflies count on our trees is several dozen. But is the worst yet to come?

My simplistic reason why we have the spotted lanternflies is to make us realize the importance and beauty of trees. Just by typing in the search bar on your computer, you will find many sources of the importance of trees. Just a few of them include shade, removal of carbon dioxide, cleaning the air, providing oxygen, stopping soil erosion, conserving energy and many, many more. Thus, if many trees in a certain area were killed by such an infestation, we could be sorely hurting.

As I battle the spotted lanternflies on the five maple trees on our small property, I realized I took the trees for granted so long and never noticed all the knots, crevices and formations on our trees nor appreciated the shade they provide us. If our trees can make it through the fall by this villain, I will do my best to not complain about raking all the multicolored leaves to dispose of them.

Of course, while on the subject of trees, one true story known by so many is about the fruit tree in the Garden of Eden as discussed in Genesis, chapter three.

After God created Adam and Eve, he told them they could eat from any tree in the garden, but not from the tree in the middle of the garden. Eve saw that tree and its fruit was very beautiful and through the craftiness/deception of the serpent in the garden, she and Adam ate from that tree, creating the first sin against God. This sin was passed on to all mankind forever. Since God requires sinless people to enter into heaven, He was still gracious enough to provide a way to enter into heaven by having his son, Jesus Christ, who was, is and always will be perfect to die on the cross for our sins.

All we have to do is BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we can be with Him and God the Father forever (read the New Testament Book of John). It is so simple, but man makes the way hard by thinking he can buy his way into heaven by attending church and giving money to it, helping others, obeying the golden rule, etc.

Yes, we should support those things just mentioned but Jesus says in Matthew 19:24: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Once again, having riches may seem beautiful, but the deceptive part with it is it may lead us astray from God!

granted so long and never noticed all the knots, crevices and formations on our trees nor appreciated the shade they provide us. If our trees can make it through the fall by this villain, I will do my best to not complain about raking all the multicolored leaves to dispose of them.

Of course, while on the subject of trees, one true story known by so many is about the fruit tree in the Garden of Eden as discussed in Genesis, chapter three. After God created Adam and Eve, he told them they could eat from any tree in the garden, but not from the tree in the middle of the garden. Eve saw that tree and its fruit was very beautiful and through the craftiness/deception of the serpent in the garden, she and Adam ate from that tree, creating the first sin against God. This sin was passed on to all mankind forever. Since God requires sinless people to enter into heaven, He was still gracious enough to provide a way to enter into heaven by having his son, Jesus Christ, who was, is and always will be perfect to die on the cross for our sins. All we have to do is BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we can be with Him and God the Father forever (read the New Testament Book of John). It is so simple, but man makes the way hard by thinking he can buy his way into heaven by attending church and giving money to it, helping others, obeying the golden rule, etc. Yes, we should support those things just mentioned but Jesus says in Matthew 19:24: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Once again, having riches may seem beautiful, but the deceptive part with it is it may lead us astray from God!

Jeff Hall, of Honey Brook, contributes columns to Berks-Mont Newspapers.

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