Spotted Lanternfly are beautiful but destructive insects that have invaded Pennsylvania. The good news is kids can help get rid of Spotted Lanternfly! Read on to learn why these are bad bugs, and what you need to know to go on your own Spotted Lanternfly Egg Hunt!
What Is Spotted Lanternfly?
Spotted Lanternfly is a dangerous, invasive pest. Invasive means this insect is from another country and it has invaded the United States. Spotted Lanternfly came from Asia to our country a few years ago. They’ve been multiplying and spreading all over the country! If we don’t stop them from spreading, they can cause big problems.
Why Is Spotted Lanternfly Bad?
Spotted Lanternfly are a problem in many ways because they:
- destroy grapes, apples, and other important crops that are grown by farmers in America.
- damage trees when they feed from them.
- make a sticky mess when they are eating, dripping something called “honeydew” down on to anything underneath them.
- attract stinging bees who love to eat the honeydew they drip!
What do Spotted Lanternfly Look Like?
The Spotted Lanternfly go through 4 different life cycles.
- Nymphs, black with white dots – the insects hatch from their eggs in May.
- Nymphs, red with white dots and black marks- you can sometimes see little black nymphs and bigger red nymphs at the same time
- Adults – In July, the insects get wings! The underside of their wings looks a lot more colorful than the top, so it’s important to know what the wings look like on both sides!
- Egg Masses – Starting in late September, the females will lay their eggs and cover them with a protective substance that hardens to look like clay. These egg masses will stay there all winter long until the next generation of nymphs hatches the following May.
Life Cycle of Spotted Lanternfly, from egg masses to nymphs to adults.
How YOU Can Help Stop the Spread of Spotted Lanternfly
Now is the perfect time to go on Spotted Lanternfly Egg Hunt! Go outside and check all the trees in your front and backyard. See if you can find anything that looks like an egg mass. If you find any, scrape them off with a stick or a card and destroy them by dropping them in a baggy with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.
After you’ve checked all your trees, it’s time to look for Spotted Egg Masses in other places. The adult females lay eggs pretty much anywhere! They usually lay them in places where the eggs will be out of sight from hungry predator bugs. Look on the underside of outdoor tables and chairs, railings, playhouses, swing sets and slides! If you have a treehouse, don’t forget to look there, too!
Check out these super weird places where people found egg masses!