Hell’s Kitchen Citizens Insect Patrol fights off spotted lanternflies

Hell’s Kitchen is annoying because of spotted lantern flies.

The residents have formed a deadly task force, armed with a murderous mix of Dawn dish soap, water and vegetable oil, to eradicate the six-legged invaders.

“You’ll either be sprayed or kicked,” vowed Gigi Stoll, a 60-year-old photographer and badass leader of the “SLF Slaughter Squad,” a crew of six who will take to the streets for the first time Wednesday morning and “kill as much as.” possible,” she said.

Two or three times a week from then on, they’ll head out armed with the soapy concoction – which she said is kryptonite to the critters and kills them on contact.

Lori Grabowski, a television and script executive whose credits include Black Panther and, ironically, Spider-Man: Homecoming, plans to arrive strapped with a “squirt bottle of death sauce” and “go on a killing spree.” ”

“Gigi made it clear to me that we don’t have to accept that,” Grabowski said.

The dreaded insect, which is not dangerous to either pets or humans, arrived in the Big Apple in July 2020 and is a “significant threat” to agriculture. Native to China and Southeast Asia, the pest sports black spots and gray wings and eats up to 100 species of plants.

Gigi Stoll with her squirt bottle of homemade insecticide and live lantern flies that she collected to freeze and compost.
Gigi Stoll with her squirt bottle of homemade insecticide and live lantern flies that she collected to freeze and compost.
Helayne Seidman
A general view of a spotted lanternfly in New York, NY on August 11, 2022.
The group killed lanternflies with a mixture of Dawn dish soap, water, and vegetable oil.
Christopher Sadowski

“I have a hard time not noticing it when it’s on the walls of my building. It was like a plague,” Stoll said of the invasion.

“It felt really weird seeing so many of these things everywhere,” she added.

When the critters returned in full force this summer, Stoll, a Texas native, had had enough and called her neighbors, who have complained online about the bugs being “all over the sidewalks” — not to mention the “walls and Interior of 1940’s buildings from 11th Avenue to 12th Avenue.”

Spotted lanternflies at Hudson Yards.
Stoll and her group go lanternfly hunting two to three times a week.
Helayne Seidman

“They absolutely take over and swarm with people. They are pretty bugs. But they’re killing everything we care about – trees, the potted plants on my patio,” said Jane Berliner, 62, a member of the SLF Slaughter Squad.

“Even the construction workers stomp them on the street,” she added.

Last week, Stoll and a pal did a dry run and patrolled through the West 40s to the Javits Center. They left behind a “carnage of dead SLFs,” she boasted.

She hopes other neighborhoods will follow suit and form their own kill squads.

Gigi Stoll directs her homemade insecticide mix against the spotted lanternflies at Hudson Yards.
Stoll hopes others will be inspired and crush the invasive species themselves.
Helayne Seidman

“People and cars stopped us on the street [this week] and asked us how to make the mix and what to do because they were all suffering from the same problem,” said the Terminatrix.

She suggested wearing light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot the winged pests when they land on you.

And make sure you’re wearing high-top sneakers or cleated shoes — to better squash those juice suckers, she noted.

Stoll continues: “I see myself as a citizen naturalist. We have so much beautiful flora and fauna and we have something that causes so much destruction. This is about community and coming together.”

https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/hells-kitchen-citizen-bug-patrol-strikes-back-at-spotted-lantern-flies/ Hell’s Kitchen Citizens Insect Patrol fights off spotted lanternflies

JACLYN DIAZ

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