(Reading, PA) - The Reading Fightin Phils, proud double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, have announced they will be hosting Agricultural Appreciation Night to stop the Spotted Lanternfly on Tuesday, June 26th at 7:15 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. The first 2,000 adults will receive a Fightin the Spotted Lanterfly T-Shirt courtesy of Anewalts Landscape Contracting and Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery.
Since 2014, the Spotted Lanternfly has threatened the state's grape, fruit tree and logging industries. Adult lanternflies have a black head and grayish wings with black spots and their body seems to glow red. They have been a threat to the local wine industry because of their negative impact on grapes.
"Growing quality grapes are the first crucial step into making premium wine," said Kari Skrip, owner of Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery. "The Spotted Lanternfly has the ability to cause major damage to our vines and as a result to Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery. It is imperative that we find solutions to this pest for our vines, wines and our livelihood."
"Although beautiful, the spotted lanternfly can do immeasurable damage to our local and greater community," said Lori Anewalt, owner of Anewalt's Landscape Contracting. "It is our duty to be on the cutting edge of what a lanternfly can do and to treat it with great urgency. We are deeply concerned about the future of the fruit industry, especially that of Clover Hill Winery being that they are close family of the Anewalt's."
At the game, State Sen. Judy Schwank will have a table with informational flyers about the spotted lanternfly.
"The spotted lanternfly is a serious problem and is having a huge impact on our communities and on our farmers," Schwank said. "Everybody needs to be engaged on this issue. Come out on June 26 to learn more."
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has three steps to help eradicate the spotted lanternfly:
1. Kill them
2. Scrape the eggs off your trees
3. If you are in a new area report it to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-253-7189
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America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Individual and season tickets for the 2018 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.