Department of agriculture highlights safe, effective spotted lanternfly trap

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Spotted lanternfly sticky band traps
Sticky bands trap spotted lanternflies as they crawl up tree trunks in search of food. Photo credit: Penn State Extension in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined April 7 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Penn State Extension and agriculture industry leaders to highlight opportunities Pennsylvania residents and businesses have to effectively treat and manage spotted lanternfly. 

At the Indiana County Conservation District, the department demonstrated how to use a circle trap to eliminate large numbers of spotted lanternflies without harming beneficial pollinators or small animals. 

“If you live in a quarantine zone for the spotted lanternfly, you know well by now that they’re a nuisance to outdoor life and are destructive to plant life,” said Redding. “Through research, public-private partnerships, and boots-on-the-ground efforts we have learned more about this pest and how farmers, business-owners, homeowners and communities can best manage it.” 

Last season’s insects have laid eggs on outdoor surfaces in masses of 30-60 eggs, each covered with a mud- or putty-like protective coating. Pennsylvanians are reminded to destroy these egg masses now to prevent large populations this season. “There are no easy answers when it comes to the spotted lanternfly, and we understand that’s hard for people to hear,” said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Good research takes time and funding but we are making discoveries every day and are sharing those findings with the public and key stakeholders.” 

Traps

Those who find spotted lanternflies on their property can reduce the population and its impact by trapping and squishing them. Penn State Extension’s website includes instructions for making your own circle trap using easily obtainable items including plastic milk jugs, duct tape, screen wire, twine, hot glue and gallon-sized food-storage bags. Traps can also be purchased through agriculture and nursery supply stores. 

To learn to recognize the insect and eggs and how to separate myths from facts, visit extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

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