Gardeners can play role in stopping spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly
Photo credit arlutz73/iStock/Getty Images Plus

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- As you're beginning to clean out the yard and get your garden ready, you can play a role in stopping the spread of a destructive, invasive foreign pest.

It's the spotted lanternfly and it has been feasting on fruit trees, grapevines, hops, hardwoods, and ornamentals since its arrival from Asia in 2014 in several counties in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Emelie Swackhamer, a horticulture educator with Penn State's Montgomery County extension office in Collegeville, says now is the time to attack and destroy spotted lanternfly egg masses.

She says it's easy to take 'em out.

"We recommend that people use like a stiff card," Swackhamer said. "If you have some sort of old credit card, that would work, or even a butter knife, something you can get underneath the eggs but not gouge into the bark of the tree and just scrape them into a container."

A plastic sandwich bag is good, too, she says. Just put a little alcohol or hand sanitizer inside the bag and crush the eggs in the alcohol solution.

More information is available at the Penn State University website.