City Cast

How To Squash Spotted Lanternflies Like a Champ

Francesca Dabecco
Francesca Dabecco
Posted on July 13   |   Updated on July 17
A squashed spotted lanternfly

A squashed spotted lanternfly. (Francesca Dabecco / City Cast Pittsburgh)

If you’re like me, you’ve been stomping all over Pittsburgh trying to kill spotted lanternflies — scientifically known as lycorma delicatula. The species is native to Asia, and it’s a big threat to Pennsylvania’s forests and agriculture. The lanternflies feed on the sap of maple and black walnut trees, grape vines, and other native plants. According to economists at Penn State, the infestations could cost the state $324 million per year and cause the loss of 2,800 jobs.

While it seems impossible to track lanternflies when they’re just about everywhere, you can participate in the eradication through the Squishr app; it makes squishing these pesky buggers like a game while recording the date, time, and location of the sighting for the State Departments of Agriculture. This data will help authorities understand where spotted lanternflies are located and how they’re spreading over time.

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