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State asks hunters to look for Spotted Lanterflies

“Everybody that I know that hunts, cares about the environment.” In fact, that’s why they do it, according to Kurt Green, sales manager at Staudt’s ...

"Everybody that I know that hunts, cares about the environment."

In fact, that’s why they do it, according to Kurt Green, sales manager at Staudt’s Gun Shop in West Hanover Township, Dauphin County.

“It is the reason we go and do what we do. It’s the reason that we freeze and try so hard to harvest game in a way that’s going to help the environment, not hurt the environment,” said Green.

So as hunters head out to the woods this year, the Department of Agriculture is asking them to keep an eye out for more than just their harvest.

“This time of year, the adult insects have actually died off from the freezing, but they’ve laid eggs on virtually every outdoor surface they can find in the infested area of the state,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

She’s talking about the Spotted Lantern Fly.

Powers calls the pest a tremendous threat to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry because it destroys crops such as apples and grapes.

Right now in Central Pennsylvania, the Spotted Lantern Fly has only made its way to Lancaster and Lebanon counties, and the PDA doesn’t want them to get any further.

“These have shown in the last couple of years to overwinter. In other words, the egg masses don’t die off in the winter, they hatch again in the spring. And that’s what we’re trying to prevent, and that’s what we need everyone’s help with,” said Powers.

They’re asking hunters to not only check their outdoor equipment for eggs, but also trees.

They look like a smear of mud, and if you spot them…

“Just scrape them off to expose the eggs, and then squish them, stomp on them, any way to get rid of them,” said Powers.

Another way, now, for hunters to do what they do best.

“I was actually on google doing a little research on it. I pulled up some pictures so now I know what to look for. Absolutely, if I see something, I will make sure the right people find out about it. That way we can get that all cleaned up,” said Green.

Anyone who lives outside the quarantine area that spots an egg mass is asked to report it online to https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly