PHILADELPHIA - At this point, we pretty much all know our mission when it comes to spotted lanternflies. Kill them.
“Squish as many as you can even if you have a new pair of shoes on ya,” says Matt Sekkes.
Sekkes probably never envisioned a day where he’d have a baggie full of bug eggs on his possession, but that’s exactly what he says Google told him to do when he spotted the invasive species all over his Manayunk balcony.
Experts are urging people to scrape off any eggs that they see to prevent the spread of the tree-eating pests.
“We killed quite a few, probably about 20 confirmed kills and then we took out all the egg nests as well,” says Sekkes.
There’s another method that is very effective, but its trapping other animals as well
Michelle Wellard, Assistant Director of the Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center says people are building their own traps by putting sticky tape around the tree. In the past few months they have gotten dozens of calls for trapped woodpeckers and more.
“In addition to a red-tailed hawk, bats, flying squirrels and other birds, and they often die,” she says. “We had one woodpecker who had its tongue ripped out by the sticky paper and the homeowner was so distressed because she was trying to do the right thing.”
Wellard says she recommends putting chicken wire or hardware cloth around the trap and leave a small gap for the lanternflies to get in.
If you do accidentally trap an animal, she urges people not to touch it. Instead, place paper on the other sticky sides of the trap, put the entire trap into a box, and call the center at 267-416-9453.
If you want to report a spotted lanternfly, visit the Penn State Extention website: https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternfly