Department of Agriculture highlights safe, effective spotted lanternfly trap | News

State officials recently 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 Agriculture Secretary Russell 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.”

Mercer County recently was added to the quarantine zone.

Last season’s insects have laid eggs on outdoor surfaces in masses of 30 to 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 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.”

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.

Research funded by the department, the USDA, and private industry has advanced Pennsylvania’s understanding of the spotted lanternfly and how to safely control it in our climate and habitat. To learn how to recognize the insect and its eggs, how to separate common myths from facts, and how to safely control it on your property, visit Penn State Extension’s website, extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly or contact your local PSU Extension office.

In March, the state’s quarantine to control the insect expanded to 45 counties. The quarantine prohibits the movement of any spotted lanternfly life stage including egg masses, nymphs, and adults, and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect.

For more information on spotted lanternflies, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.

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