Re “Spotted lanternflies: vivid creepers” (Nov. 10. 2021)

Arjo Guhamazumder, 2024

To the Editor: Alexander Chang, Kalyani Samudrla, Deepa Srinidhi

This article denotes the problems that spotted lanternflies cause as an invasive species in America. It also demonstrates ways in which we can reduce the spread of these lanternflies, including squashing them and disposing of their eggs. But is squashing them really the morally right thing to do?

Killing lanternflies is a helpful step if the sole purpose is to decrease the population of these harmful insects in our population. But publicizing the idea of squishing these insects may not ethically be the right choice. We are justifying squashing these bugs based on the harm they cause, but that doesn’t necessarily make brutally killing the adult bugs a morally greater quality of action. It might be the case that killing the bugs is necessary to reduce their spread, but it is stated in the article that government and private research haven’t reached a conclusion yet.

I am of agreement that steps need to be taken to reduce the lanternflies’ spread. However, it may be a little premature to encourage killing the adults.

Arjo Guhamazumder