Spotted lanternfly invasion: What can you do?

- It's an invasion! They're called spotted lanternflies, and they're taking over eastern Pennsylvania.

They may look pretty, but these pesky critters can cause serious damage to plants and trees.

They first arrived in Berks County three years ago, and since then they've spread to four other Pennsylvania's counties (Bucks, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery) near the state's eastern border with New Jersey. There's actually a quarantine in effect for many towns.

The spotted lanternfly is originally from Asia and is known to feed on 70 plant species.

Take a look at the video our cameraman Tom Beck sent us. Spotted lanternflies all over trees in his yard, and they won't go away.

So, we decided to send an expert to Tom's home in Upper Pottsgrove, Montgomery County, to help him out.

Joining "Good Day Philadelphia" on Wednesday morning were Tom along with Bill Paige, a plant health care specialist for Brightview Landscape Services.

Paige explained that getting rid of these bugs isn't always as easy as a spray; you may actually need a horticultural oil because the females are laying dozens to hundreds of eggs. And be aware that some of the sprays can be toxic.

For a full list of insecticides from Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture, click here.

If there are only a few bugs, you can swat or crush them, the state document says.

But officials are also asking that you to report them by calling 1-866-253-7189 or sending an email to Badbug@pa.gov.

Websites with more information:

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Penn State Extension
 

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