Act in winter to stop hatching of spotted lanternfly eggs

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — In only a handful of months, the invasive spotted lanternfly will hatch its eggs and spread. There is, however, a way to prevent that from happening.

“They lay their eggs in the fall and then those egg masses can be anywhere and everywhere,” said Shannon Powers, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. “Over the winter is prime time to keep them from hatching in the spring. Around mid-May, they start hatching.”

The insect can lay its eggs on anything like a tree or outdoor furniture and can easily blend in.

“It looks like a smear of mud and this time of year the surface is dull,” Powers said.

The Department of Agriculture says by scraping the mass, it destroys the potential for destruction. Each egg mass contains around 30 to 50 spotted lanternflies.

“You can use anything like a credit card, a pocket knife or even a window scraper, whatever you have on hand. You use that to scrape the egg mass off and that exposes the eggs underneath and then you just need to smear them or squish them,” Powers said.

Fourteen counties in the state are currently under quarantine.

If you see spotted lanternflies, you can report them at 1-888-4BAD-FLY or (1-888-422-3359).

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