Get Ready to Stomp and Squash: Lanternfly Season 2021 Is in the Wings

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Spotted lanternfly nymphs are already on the move in Bucks County.

As the weather continues to warm, the benevolent-looking dotted bugs will mature to goop up another summer. Grace Griffaton cited some early mitigation efforts for FOX43, Lancaster County. 

According to Emelie Swackhamer, horticultural educator for Penn State Extension, the hatching and nymph stage has been going on since mid-April. The pesky critters will by swarming backyards and sidewalks any day now. 

Her recommendations for foiling the flies include intervening while they’re still eggs. Scraping egg deposits into alcohol will do the trick. With the window closing on that opportunity, however, trapping nymphs can also work.  

“The nymphs are interesting,” she laughed. “They feed up higher in the trees. The wind blows them out, and they march over to the trunk and climb back up.” 

Swackhamer recommends stopping this pest parade midway, intersecting the insects. 

Other weapons in this winged war include sticky traps and low-toxicity products like insecticidal soap and botanical oils. A Union City, NJ, company is offering free biopesticides for lanternfly eggs; reps will drive it to you. 

The one thing she doesn’t recommend is unleashing your under-the-sink arsenal of spritzes and sprays. Chemical Armageddon in your garden can also kill insects that are helpful. 

And if all else fails, there’s always the squish technique. 

It may be like trying to fill a swimming pool with an eyedropper, but it does lead a sense of satisfaction that, even in a small way, you’re helping. 

More on mitigating the annual spotted lanternfly infestation is available at FOX43, Lancaster County

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