COVID-19 mitigation have you home, bored, and looking for projects? Get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and hunt for Spotted Lanternfly egg masses! Spotted Lanternfly nymphs typically hatch in mid to late April and scraping egg masses is the most efficient way to kill 30-50 of the invasive pests at once.
- Check your yard! Sticks, rocks, play equipment – anything that's been sitting since fall.
- Check your building! Window and door frames, siding, bricks, garages. They're sneaky.
- Check your grill. Fence posts. Equipment. Trash cans.
- Let's use this time at home to make a positive impact on Spotted Lanternfly this season.
- Grab your kids and go hunting for egg masses. Scrape and destroy every one you see!
The destructive, invasive Spotted Lanternfly is capable of decimating entire grape vineyards and damaging fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees. In addition to threatening agriculture, this bad bug threatens our ability to enjoy the outdoors during spring and summer months – they're known to swarm in the air, cover trees, and coat decks and play equipment with their excrement, known as honeydew. Honeydew, along with sap from weeping plant wounds that result from feeding of Spotted Lanternfly, can attract bees and other insects and stimulate the growth of fungi.
Egg masses can be found on nearly all outside surfaces including trees, stones, patio furniture, play equipment, house siding, vehicles, and similar areas. Each egg mass has 30 to 50 eggs. If found, they are easy to remove by scraping.
When fresh, the egg masses are covered in a white putty-like substance, which ages over time. By this time of the year the egg masses look like cracked mud. They blend in well with some surroundings and could go unnoticed unless you are purposely searching for them.
Found one! Now what?
Simply apply pressure and scrape them off using a putty knife, credit card, or other firm, blunt edged tool. Penn State Extension has a helpful tutorial on how to destroy egg masses.
For more about the Spotted Lanternfly visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.