Scarce Lanternfly Sightings: The Persistent Pests Aren’t Gone for the 2021 Season, Just Spread Out


If you are seeing fewer spotted lanternflies than you expect, don’t get too excited. It doesn’t mean the persistent pests are nonexistent or that lanternfly season is behind us. It only signifies that the infestation is more spread out than in prior years. Beccah Hendrickson described the bugs’ wider geographic scope for 6ABC.

According to experts, the persistent pests that have decimated Pennsylvania horticulture for the past seven years are on the move and spreading out. As a result, the 2021 population does not appear as dense.

“We’re not finished with the season yet, so we’re just gearing up on those adult flights,” said Brian Walsh, the Berks County Horticultural Educator with Penn State Extension.

That translates to this icky reality: The swarms of carcasses littering out sidewalks and lawns are yet to come.

Walsh added that curtailing numbers is a mission everyday residents can tackle. Killing the invasive insect is an effective containment method, whether that’s chemically or with the sole of your sneaker.

But it’s also important to ensure you’re not transporting the bugs from other locations to your neighborhood. After a walk or a drive, check your body or your car for unwanted passengers.

“(The infestation is) expanding outward to Staten Island at this point,” Walsh said. “It was just confirmed as far away as Indiana.”

Read more about spotted lanternflies at 6ABC.

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