HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture wants you to know that now is the time to get out and scrape those lantern fly egg masses.

Jay Losiewicz, Deputy Communications Director at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, said the insect will lay their egg masses in the fall, and from there they do die off.

However, the lantern fly continues, and egg masses wait until spring to hatch which is why now is the time to prevent it.

“They do damage to a lot of our agricultural products. They do like grape vines, potentially some hops things like that,” said Losiewicz.

He says in Berks County the department has seen upwards of a 90% death rate of grape vines due to the loss of sugar from the lantern fly.

So how do you prevent it?

“Depending on what you have available to you the number one tool is a scraper card it’s just like a credit card that you can use anything hard and pliable works really well,” said Losiewicz.

Add a plastic bag with hand sanitizer in it and you’ve got yourself a kit.

Losiewicz said once an egg mass is found, scrape it down into the bag and the alcohol in the sanitizer will ensure the eggs are dead.

He adds if you see them in the spring, change your method from scrape to stomp.