Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary: It’s Prime Hunting Season, Especially for Lanternfly Egg Masses

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tree trunk
Image via Luke Hearon at Creative Commons.
Lanternfly egg masses, like this sandy-colored patch, are prime for removal now, before their spring hatchings.

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding issued the reminder that the chance to get ahead of the 2022 lanternfly season is to prevent them from hatching in the first place. The way to do that, according to a staff report from The Sentinal, is to destroy lanternfly egg masses that are being laid now.

“Every spotted lanternfly egg mass not scraped and destroyed now is up to 50 more of these invasive, destructive bugs we can expect to hatch next spring,” he said. “We need every Pennsylvanian to hunt for egg masses this fall and winter and destroy them — or we’re in for a scary spring.”

According to the department, the egg masses are a light gray substance that look like mud. It can be found on flat surfaces, such as trees, rocks, and outdoor objects that include picnic tables, the sidings of homes, and cars.

They can contain an average of 30 to 50 eggs.

Egg masses can be scraped using a rigid tool, such as a credit card or stick. However, as it is yet unknown if the eggs can survive when just scraped to the ground, further measures are recommended. Scraping the eggs into a container of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer can ensure the effort is wholly effective.

Read more about spotted lanternfly egg masses in The Sentinel.

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