Get ready, because they’re coming!
Eggs of the dreaded spotted lanternfly have already been spotted in Lancaster County.
“The spotted lanternfly feeds on over 70 kinds of plants,” said Lois Miklas, the master gardener coordinator for Penn State Extension in Lancaster County.
The invasive pest poses a significant threat to Pennsylvania agriculture products like grapes, hops, and fruit.
Miklas said in addition to feeding on plants, the spotted lanternfly makes backyards unpleasant.
“They secrete a honeydew as part of their feeding process,” Miklas said. “That can get on your outdoor furniture and decks. It provides a substance where mold, dark mold, can grow.”
Locally last year, northern parts of Lancaster County saw the pest the most, and this winter wasn’t cold enough to kill them.
Miklas said the spotted lanternfly is laying its eggs on anything that doesn’t move. That’s why even before the eggs hatch, signs are popping up in Lancaster County that urge “stop, scrape, squash”.
“You want to inspect anything that you might be moving around so you don’t move it out of the quarantine zone or even into parts of Lancaster County where we’re not seeing a lot of spotted lanternflies,” Milkas said.
Report sightings of the spotted lanternfly here.