Nothing can be said to be certain — except death, taxes, and now, the invasion of the spotted lanternfly into Philadelphia.
These days, Philadelphians are dropping pleasantries and exchanging confirmed kill counts after the species that causes damage to crops and trees has been increasingly spotted in the region. Native to China, India, and Vietnam, the species made its way into the United States by way of Berks County in 2014 and has spread to 14 counties in Pennsylvania and eight in New Jersey.
Penn State researchers are spending their days looking for ways to control the lanternfly, but you can play a role, too. The proper response isn’t to call 911, but to unleash your inner brute. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is urging residents to obliterate the plant-hoppers and report sightings online or by phone, 1-888-4BAD-FLY.
“Kill it! Squash it, smash it ... just get rid of it,” writes the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. “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.”
It appears that Philadelphians are carrying out the duty with valor, honor, and creativity. Here’s how.
Forget Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. North Wales-based Mike Allebach Photography has released a “short film” called The Spotted Lanternfly Massacre based upon “true events,” according to its description. It seems to have answered calls for a nightmare-inducing feature.
Fit for an after-school special, maybe the education tune “Die, Die, Die, Spotted Lanternfly” is more your speed.
Montgomery County’s Tim Cheney of the Edge Hill Rounders told 6ABC that inspiration struck when he killed his first spotted lanternfly at the Philadelphia Folk Festival last month.
Your Gritty Halloween costume is so 2018. Will a spotted lanternfly costume be all the rage this year?
A sense of responsibility
Voting, jury duty, and destroying an invasive species. Philadelphians are feeling a real sense of satisfaction after carrying out the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s request.
Shoes. Fly swatters. Toy guns. Those orange "savesies” cones. When it comes to destroying the spotted lanternfly, use whatever weapon you prefer.