Girls Scouts master invasive bugs

Hopewell Valley Girl Scouts, from Brownies to Ambassadors, participating in the workshop.

The Hopewell Valley Girl Scouts are leading the charge against the invasive Spotted Lanternfly! They learned about the harmful insects discovered in 2014 in Pennsylvania, which have since spread into New Jersey. The pests destroy vegetation by feeding on the sap of more than 70 different plant species including grapevines, maples, and black walnut. Their feeding causes significant stress to plants, which leads to decreased health and even death.

Currently, there is no quick fix to eliminate the bugs. With an online educational tutorial published by the Penn State University Extension office, the girls learned to build traps that successfully capture the bugs without harming beneficial insects or other wildlife, such as birds. The trap is made with a collection of items (both recycled and purchased) and attached to a tree. The lanternflies, whose instinct is to continually climb up, march up into the trap and get caught, interrupting their life cycle. Each female lanternfly can lay up to 100 eggs! Every captured bug can make a big difference!

For more information on joining the war against the spotted lanternfly and reserving a trap of your own, please visit hovalgirlscouts.org.

Submitted by Hopewell Valley Girl Scouts

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