Spotted Lantern Flies

Have you seen me? I’m black and gray with red all over. What am I? A Spotted Lantern Fly!

By Paige Shickel, Abbey Thomas, Hailey Erdman, and Reese Gerhart

Spotted lantern flies are bugs that kill trees by sucking out their sap that will potentially leak, causing mold on trees. The scientific name for the Spotted Lantern Fly is Lycorma Delicatula. Now that’s a mouthful to say!

Spotted Lantern Flies come from China, India, Vietnam, and eastern Asia. Some people believe that these bugs got to the United States by hitchhiking on packages and containers arriving from these other countries. In the U.S., the Spotted lantern flies are currently most prevalent in Macungie, PA and surrounding counties. We need to stop these pests from spreading to other areas.

On a nice fall day, you can go outside and try to spot them. They are easy to find. Spotted lantern flies have a very unique shade of color. They have a vibrant shade of red and grey but don't be fooled by their pretty colors, because they cause serious damage to sap trees and other types of agriculture, such as grape vines. Female spotted lantern flies lay up to roughly 30-50 tiny eggs on pretty much any solid sap tree they can find.

Many kids in our school have seen lantern flies on their trees in our neighborhoods. If you see lantern fly egg masses on trees, one way to kill them is to scrape the eggs off with a credit card or other hard, flat tool, then drop them into rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will immediately kill the eggs on contact.

One thing you may have noticed when you try to smash a lantern fly is that they jump really high and fast. However, in the mornings they are not as active as they are in the afternoon, so mornings may be the best time to try to get them. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recommends that you kill them on sight.

Remember don’t be fooled by the pretty colors of the Spotted Lanternfly they are deadly to our trees and bushes. For more information see the Penn State Extension Website.