Spotted lanternflies are invasive insects that can damage grapevines, hops, fruit trees and more.
Since the insect was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2014, people have been asked to help stop the spread of this pest. One option that works is wrapping sticky bands around trees. However, these bands can capture birds and other wildlife.
Penn State Extension shared information about a new type of trap that captures spotted lanternfly and has less of a chance of capturing other bugs or birds.
“It is basically a tunnel that SLFs walk into,” writes a group from the extension. “When they move upward in the trap, they end up in a dead-end collection container where they die.”
USDA Entomologists recently studied the effectiveness of a few types of traps.
“Circle trunk traps are recommended for their effectiveness at capturing L. delicatula (spotted lanternfly) as well as their relative ease-of-use and reusability,” they said.
Circle traps can be bought or they can become a stay-at-home project. Here’s more about the trap, from the guide written by extension educators Emelie Swackhamer and Amy Korman, extension associate Heather Leach and entomologist Joseph Francese. The full guide can be found here.
Why use a trap?
One way to kill a lot of spotted lanternflies without using insecticides is to trap them.
When do I put the trap out?
Now. The traps will best catch nymphs in spring and early summer.
Earlier in the year, egg masses (found on flat surfaces like tree trunks and rocks) can be scraped into a bag filled with hand sanitizer.
After they hatch, it’s common for nymph lanternflies to be blown out of the trees on which they are feeding. They walk up the trunk of trees for more food. Traps can capture them as they climb.
Where should I place these traps?
The best place for circle traps are on infested trees. Spotted lanternflies feed on tree of heaven, plus walnut and willow. However, circle traps work best on trees with smooth bark. The nymphs could crawl under the trap on bark with deep grooves.
How do I make one?
The Penn State team shared a guide to make one using household items and a window screen.
What if I’m not handy?
Circle traps were originally designed to capture pecan weevils. Pecan weevil traps can be found online. Pecan weevils are smaller than spotted lanternflies so commercial traps need to larger collection container, which is an easy fix, according to the extension team.