Spotted Lanternfly Patrol

A healthier Wissahickon begins with you!

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a highly destructive pest that has recently invaded the area.  This pest poses a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s agriculture and hardwood industries, as well as the health of our forests. You can help minimize their impact by turning your hikes into scavenger hunts to locate lanternflies and their eggs, and smash as many as possible.


  • Fill out our online Volunteer Agreement & Release form
  • Head out for a hike and keep your eyes peeled for spotted lanterflies and their eggs. Bring a pair of gloves with you, a fly swatter, and something to scrape the eggs with.
  • Fill out this field report when you’re done so that we can log your volunteer hours.


Winter to Early Spring: Destroying Spotted Lanternfly Eggs

During the winter and early spring seasons, you’ll be searching for spotted lanternfly eggs. These can be found on the bark of trees, on rocks, and on other solid surfaces. Destroying the eggs before they hatch can greatly reduce the amount of lanterfly insects in the warmer months. Egg masses are typically white in color and look like a small smear. Below are two examples of what to look for.

To remove the egg sacks, use a small scraping implement to press down on the egg mass and scrape it from trees and rocks.  Use something similar to a drivers license, as that is hard enough to destroy the eggs but will not damage the bark of any trees you might be removing the masses from.

Check out this helpful video from Penn State Extension on how to remove egg masses:

Late Spring to Fall: Destroying Spotted Lanternflies

Spotted lanterflies hatch in the spring and have three stages to their lifecycle. In the early nymph stage they are small (about 1/4 of an inch), are black with white spots and don’t yet have wings. In the later nymph stage, they’re a little bigger (about 1/2 an inch) and have now have a bright red color, along with white spots. By the time they become adults, they grow wings and are about an inch long. When the wings are closed, they’re a very light pink color with black spots. When the wings are open, you can see their trademark red and white wings with black spots. Below are several images of their different stages.

Spotted lanterflies tend to cluster in large groups on tree trunks and other solid objects. Below is an image of a group of adult lanterflies on a tree.

When you encounter spotted spotted lanterflies, smash as many as you can! We recommend using a fly swatter  to get as many as possible. Please be sure that the insect you are smashing is, in fact, a spotted lanternfly.

You can read more about the spotted lanternfly here!

Safety Tips

  • We highly recommend not going out alone. Recruit folks that you know and are comfortable volunteering with: someone from your household or “quaranteam” to join you. Send them the online volunteer agreement & release form.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Look out for other park users, insects like yellow jackets, poison ivy, tripping hazards, and hanging tree branches.
  • Perform a tick check when you return home.


If you’re not able to get out into the park and volunteer, consider donating or becoming a member to support our stewardship mission.