PITTSBURGH — The spotted lanternfly has started to hatch in Pennsylvania, and state leaders are asking for your help to stop the spread.
Twenty-six Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Beaver, are under quarantine for the invasive species, which has been known to damage fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees.
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“Let’s use this time at home to make a positive impact on spotted lanternfly this season; scrape and destroy any remaining egg masses you find and band your trees now,” Agriculture Secretary Redding said. “We need every Pennsylvanian to keep their eyes peeled for this bad bug, we can’t let our guard down.”
Spotted lanternflies generally start hatching in mid to late April in southern Pennsylvania, with the northern counties lagging behind.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, these bugs are known to swarm in the air, cover trees and coat decks and play equipment with their excrement.
The best way to remove eggs from a tree is to scrape them off using a putty knife or credit card, the department of agriculture said. Penn State Extension has a helpful tutorial on how to destroy egg masses.
During the nymph stage, tree banding is the most effective method to capture and kill spotted lanternfly. It’s a nontoxic, inexpensive technique that can be used on any tree.
If you scrape an egg mass or squash a spotted lanternfly you are asked to report your sighting online or via phone by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY. For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.
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