HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Spotted lanternfly season is here, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture expects to see even more this year. They want your help in stopping them.
“We are seeing a lot more lanternflies here in Central Pennsylvania,” Shannon Powers, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, said.
Staying aware and taking out these pesky unwanted visitors will have an impact on our environment, but that can come with a few challenges.
“Especially if you aren’t super vigilant about scrapping egg masses in the fall, and to be honest some of those egg masses are laid high up in the trees,” Powers said.
Spotted lanternflies can threaten fruits, plants, trees, and even businesses that thrive on outdoor tourism.
“We want people to enjoy themselves at home and outside,” Powers said. “They threaten our agriculture industry, some of our favorite products like wine and grapes.”
“They really are more of a nuisance than a harm,” City of Harrisburg forester Ellen Roane said.
“At this point, we’re beginning to see the last nymph stage, and the adults are emerging right now,” Roane said.
Roane says traps are great ways to get rid of these lanternflies. If you have a trap with sticky tape, you should outfit it with a protective net so other wildlife won’t get caught.
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As for getting rid of these lanternflies, every situation is going to be different.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody’s properties are different, whether you have children or pets or a water source, you have to consider those,” Powers said.
“Unfortunately we really can’t get rid of them. There is no known control for them. The best we can do is to try and avoid having so many around our properties where they’re impacting us,” Roane said.
The Department of Agriculture says the state has set aside $3,000,000 for rapid response emergencies dedicated to spotted lanternfly treatments.
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