Photo from the PA Department of Agriculture, by Erica Smyers

Spotted Lanternfly egg masses look like this on the bark of a tree, and become caked like mud over time. The PA Department of Agriculture is asking hunters to scrape them off with knives.

PA agriculture department assigns hunters new target

REGION — Now that hunting season has officially begun, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Penn State Extension are using the opportunity to encourage hunters to track a different prey: the Spotted Lanternfly.

Officials are asking hunters, or anyone wandering through the woods, to keep watch for lanternfly egg masses and scrape them off trees if possible. Though the fly is particularly attracted to the Tree of Heaven, the insect may be found on rocks, stones, or outdoor furniture. The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species, according to the department, and is harmful to the economically important grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.

Environmental and agricultural advocates have been tracking the Spotted Lanternfly since 2014, even developing an online reporting tool—extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternfly—to keep record of the species.

For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly, or to report a sighting, call the Penn State Extension hotline at 888/422-3359.

 

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