Easily Catch Spotted Lanternflies

Spotted lanternfly adult (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

11 October 2021

The invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) hasn’t taken over Pittsburgh yet but it’s only a matter of time. Since first seen in western Pennsylvania in January 2020 at the Norfolk Southern railyard in Conway, Beaver County, the bugs have expanded their population and range. They’ve been seen on the North Side, in Homestead, and elsewhere near the railroads that brought them here.

Fall is breeding time for spotted lanternflies which are now in their winged adult phase. The adults won’t survive the winter but their egg masses will, so the more adults we eliminate now before they lay eggs the better.

Adult spotted lanternfly (Lawrence Barringer, PA Dept of Agriculture, Bugwood.org)

Smashing a spotted lanternfly is easier said than done. The bugs have instant reflexes and jump when approached. However you can catch them in a water bottle. Easily! That’s why this video went viral.

Save a couple of plastic water bottles and lids. You’ll need lids to keep the bugs in the bottle.

photo by Kate St. John

Catch the bugs early in the day before they go too far up the trees.

Freeze the bottles containing lanternflies. The bugs die when they’re cold. Ta dah.

Good luck!

(photos from Wikimedia Commons, Bugwood and Kate St. John; videos embeded from YouTube)

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