Fourteen-year-old Rachel Bergey from Harleysville has won the Broadcom MASTERS $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention with her spotted lanternfly trap, writes Bob Keeler for the Souderton Independent.
Bergey got an idea for her trap after noticing the invasive pest while climbing a tree at home. At the time, the available options were to use a sticky tape that would trap the insects or to spray chemicals.
“We didn’t feel very comfortable with spraying it with chemicals because we didn’t know what the other side effects of that would be,” she said.
Her family tried out the tape, but it ended up capturing beneficial insects as well.
So after much trial and error, the teen came up with her own trap.
“The key part was that I wanted to use their natural instinct to climb against them because I noticed they wanted to go up and not down,” she said.
Her trap uses a foil barrier with a tunnel opening that gives spotted lanternflies the only way up the tree. The tunnel leads the insects into netting that traps them and they die within 24 hours.
Read more about Rachel Bergey and her invention at the Souderton Independent by clicking here.