You’ve Spotted the Spotted Lanternfly: What Should You Do?

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive species of plant-hopping insect native to Asia that was first discovered in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014, and has the potential to kill or damage trees, plants and billions of dollars worth of agricultural crops.

Since 2014 the Spotted Lanternfly has flown far beyond the borders of Berks County to enter at least 12 other counties, including both Lehigh and Northampton counties, where state and local officials are trying to educate residents about what to do if they see the bug, to help prevent its further spread.

Credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture

The Spotted Lanternfly

Lower Saucon Township officials are doing their part in the latest edition of the township’s newsletter, which includes information about the fly.

Northampton County is currently under quarantine for the spotted lanternfly, which means travelers should check their vehicles for signs of the insect and/or its eggs in order to avoid giving them a ride to new turf.

Egg masses have been described as resembling greyish splotches of dry, cracked mud in appearance.

In the newsletter, the township recommends not parking vehicles or leaving items under trees, and always checking your vehicle for
“hitchhiking lanternflies.”

If you do find eggs, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recommends killing them by scraping them off surfaces, double bagging them and throwing them in the trash, or scraping the eggs directly into a resealable bag containing alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.

It is also recommended not to move trees that have been cut down between the months of May and October, as doing so can result in the inadvertent transportation of the lanternflies to new areas.

If you have seen a Spotted Lanternfly or eggs, you can call the Bad Fly Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-422-3359) to provide details of your sighting and your contact information.

A photograph of any life stage (including egg masses) of the fly can be emailed to Badbug@pa.gov.

For more information or to report possible populations of spotted
lanternfly, call the hotline or visit the PA Dept. of Agriculture website.

Have you seen the Spotted Lanterfly here in PA? Tell us in a comment.

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