The Spotted Lanternfly has taken over Pennsylvania, including Philly, and people are taking a few cracks at the insect invasion.
The invasive species was first discovered in Berks County in 2014. Since then, the invasion has continued to grow, with the pests sperading to 14 counties in Pennsylvania, 8 in New Jersey, and some making their way to the Big Apple.
Even though the Spotted Lanternfly invasion is wreaking havoc on the state, Philadelphians have found some creative inspiration as a result.
The internet is feeling more inspired than ever by the infestation, with some planning a Halloween costume of “sexy lanternfly,” creating horror movie trailers, a song about the pests and Twitter users have even started sharing how many bugs, they’ve killed.
“Before today, I had squashed only 1 #SpottedLanternfly (on 9/7 at Penn’s Landing). Today I squashed ELEVEN just on my lunch break in Penn Center area. #SLFbodycount: 12#keepsquashin…” said Twitter user Kathryn Christopher.
Before today, I had squashed only 1 #SpottedLanternfly (on 9/7 at Penn’s Landing). Today I squashed ELEVEN just on my lunch break in Penn Center area. #SLFbodycount: 12#keepsquashin @AcadNatSci pic.twitter.com/Yo4E6ySHmQ
— Kathryn Christopher (@k_a_christopher) September 17, 2019
Dibs on being a slutty spotted lanternfly for Halloween
— Meghan A. Kelly (@meghanakelly) September 17, 2019
Just got my first kill of a #SpottedLanternfly. That crunch is satisfying.
— Dennis Coleman (@denniswcoleman) September 17, 2019
“Dibs on being a slutty spotted lanternfly for Halloween,” tweeted Meghan A Kelly.
Even though the internet is having a blast at the expense of the invasive species, the Spotted Lanternfly can be extremely detrimental to the state and its agriculture.
According to PA Department of Agriculture , “…the Spotted Lanternfly is known to utilize more than 70 species, 25 of which also occur in Pennsylvania, including cultivated grapes, fruit trees, and hardwood species. In the U.S., the Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the viticulture (grape), tree fruit, plant nursery, and timber industries.”
Additionally, PA Department of Agriculture said: “This pest poses a significant threat to the state’s more than $28 million grape, $87 million apple, and more than $19 million peach industries, as well as the hardwood industry in Pennsylvania which accounts for nearly $17 billion in sales.”
If you or someone you’re with spots one of the pest, the PA Department of Agriculture urges you to report it to 1-888-4BADFLY or fill out this form.
After you see the PA Department of Agriculture also wants you to, “Kill it! Squash it, smash it…just get rid of it. In the fall, these bugs will lay egg masses with 30-50 eggs each. These are called bad bugs for a reason, ’don’t let them take over your county next.”