Spotted lanternflies are once again spreading across the region. You can help stop the advancement of this invasive pest by finding their eggs and destroying them, writes Grace Dickinson for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Honestly, it’s something fun you can be doing outside right now,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the state Department of Agriculture.
The Asia-native insects start to hatch as early as April, but their egg clusters can be found well into June. Spotted lanternflies lay their eggs on trees, rocks, cars, or generally any flat surface.
These egg clusters resemble light grayish, putty-colored splotches of mud.
“They lay 30 to 50 eggs in these neat rows, and then they cover them with this coating, which is what you’re seeing,” said Powers. “It’s shiny at first, but now looks more like a blob of dried gum flattened on a sidewalk.”
If you use sticky tape around trees to catch the lanternflies, be sure to have screening around the tape so no birds or squirrels get stuck to it.
To kill the pests before they hatch, you can use anything stiff enough to scrape the coating off the chosen location, such as a credit card or garden spade. You need to apply enough pressure to the mass until an actual “pop” is heard. Then simply smash any eggs that you discover inside.
Read more about spotted lanternflies in The Philadelphia Inquirer.