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"Hard frost" needed to get rid of spotted lanternflies in Pennsylvania, expert says

Spotted lanternflies not going anywhere anytime soon
Spotted lanternflies not going anywhere anytime soon 00:45

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Spotted lanternflies seem to be everywhere in the Pittsburgh area.

But an insect expert at Penn State University said while they are a nuisance, they won't hurt you.

"They don't harm people, they don't harm pets," said Amy Korman, a PSU entomologist. "They're not a structural problem in terms of being on buildings and everything.

"But yup, they might crawl on you, and people can feel their prickly little feet. And they often think they're getting bitten, but they're not. Spotted lanternflies, they're just hanging tight."

Their mouths are designed to just suck on plants and trees, and they only have an appetite for plants.  

And like it or not, they'll be around for a bit longer. Korman said we're going to need a "hard frost" to get rid of them. 

So, it may be November or December before we no longer see any lanternflies around Pittsburgh. Until then, you can also kill the adult lanternflies or purchase or make circle traps.

That said, if you do nothing, they will lay their eggs, and the problem will be back next year and in even bigger numbers. 

However, unlike those pesky stinkbugs, they aren't trying to get into our homes. They do not try to find a spot over the winter to hide out. They lay their eggs and they die. 

Penn State Extension has a handy list of things you can buy to spray them with and you can check that out right here

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