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Posted on: January 4, 2020

Scrape Spotted Lanternfly Eggs this Winter

image-1Help prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly by scraping egg masses you may see on trees. Please check your trees for egg masses such as the one pictured and follow these instructions for scraping and disposing of the egg masses:

Pull out a plastic card or putty knife. Glance around for the nearest tree likely to have "SLF" eggs on it (very possibly a Maple (leaves shaped like a hand (fingers extended) and that turn red in autumn). Look for tan or gray egg masses of the invasive spotted Lanternfly on the bark of the trunk and branches. You might even spot these little patches on an outdoor table or rock

Walk around your property to check for egg masses on trees, cement blocks, rocks, and any other hard surface. If you find egg masses on your property from September to May, you can scrape them off using a plastic card or putty knife (Figure 3). Scrape them into a bag or container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and keep them in this solution permanently. Egg masses can also be smashed or burned. Remember that some eggs will be laid at the tops of trees and may not be possible to reach. Be careful while scraping. Don't climb any ladder to eliminate out-of-reach egg masses! However, you might tie a piece of bright yarn around that tree's trunk at eye level, and someone else, hopefully, will remove more.

Why bother to remove loads of these eggs? Because they're not moving yet! Up to 50 black nymphs with white dots could emerge in April or May. Do not fuss over what remains, but be glad that you are helping to sustain life! For instance, Maple supports dozens of different native insects, although we rarely see them. And virtually all our birds need those insects in order to feed their babies.  If you love birds, you support the insect life they (and we) must have.

Out walking at the park or at work? Carry a little yarn and a small scissors in your pocket along with the card and baggie. You're all set to kill hundreds in just 5 minutes. For extra confidence with this, click here. Let kids, teens, neighbors and co-workers see what you're doing and ask them to look for spotted lanternflies as well. Together, we can provide a much more pleasant world for ourselves this year!

Please visit the Penn State Extension website for more information about spotted lanternfly management for homeowners

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