While the area’s most prolific summer pest won’t fully appear until May, their harbinger — lanternfly eggs — make themselves known earlier. And that appearance provides an apt time to eliminate them, reducing future numbers before the adult bugs can lay siege to area yards, streets, parks, and gardens. Frank Kummer reports on the value of early action on this annual invasion for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The invasive insect first appeared in the U.S. in nearby Berks County in 2014. Since then, they quickly spread throughout the rest of the state and well beyond, despite numerous attempts to eradicate their proliferation.
Officials monitoring the effects of the yearly outbreak are revising their assessment of it. They are concluding that the plant-hoppers have not proven to be as destructive as was originally thought, particularly to trees and plants. “Some of our fears [about this insect] have been allayed at this point,” said Brian Walsh, of Penn State Extension.
But despite assurances, the bugs still represent a significant threat to vineyards, a particular worry for Bucks County.
“Vineyards still face a significant challenge and are still seeing losses in production and increased costs with increased spray applications,” said Walsh.
Although insecticides work against the bug, the best way to preemptively destroy them is by scraping its eggs from surfaces. The more the population is eradicated before hatching, the less damage will ensue this summer.
Read more about the coming emergence of spotted lanternfly eggs in The Philadelphia Inquirer.