PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It’s that time of year when homeowners are putting a special kind of tape around their trees to slow the invasion of spotted lanternflies. The insect species can be a big nuisance to local plants and crops.
However, this is also the time when many animals like squirrels, bats, and hawks begin to have babies and need trees in order to learn how to survive on their own. So, instead of the tape trapping lanternflies, it’s trapping other animals.
This is why local wildlife centers are calling on people to use caution when wrapping their trees with lanternfly tape.
“It's very, very sticky," Tracy Young, with the Raven Ridge Wildlife Center said. "There’s a toxin in this glue, the stress of these animals being stuck and not being able to get off these sticky tapes...whether it’d be the animal or people panicking trying to pull these animals out of the tape, there’s feathers lost, there’s bones that are being broken, there’s skin that’s being torn."
If one of these animals gets stuck in the tape, here’s what you need to do:
“Put tissue or paper towel around the sticky part that the animal is not sticking too, cut around it, put the animal in a box, and transport it to a wildlife rehabilitator," Young told FOX43.
There are ways you can prevent this from happening, as well:
“Circle traps, they have some different, other ideas of traps that can get the nymphs, and the lanternflies, but are deterrent to our wildlife," Young said. "Also, screen, very fine, window screen, which is easy to work with and to bend around the trunk of the tree, over the tape, that if the animal happens to fly in there, they can bounce off that screen, or they can crawl over it and continue to go up the tree and utilize it."
For resources that can help you create a wildlife barrier for a spotted lanternfly sticky band trap, click here.