Spotted lanternflies spotted in Center City Philadelphia

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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Spotted lanternflies invade Center City Philadelphia. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5pm on September 10, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Spotted lanternflies are making a pest of themselves in Center City Philadelphia. People say the bugs are flying into their faces and sticking to their hair and clothing.

For several years the invasive, voracious insects have caused costly damage to fruit trees, some hardwoods and vineyards in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Now people say they started showing up near 18th and Arch several days ago.

Of the scores of spotted lanternflies we found none of them seem to be interested in nearby street trees.

Instead, the Center City dwellers remained on pavements and walls. Many were alive and moving, even hopping.

Some were smashed dead, and not by accident.

"The state of Pennsylvania has been doing a really good job letting us know the spotted lanternfly is not our friend," said office worker Dena Driscoll.

The state says if you see a spotted lanternfly you should take action.

For Driscoll and others we met on Tuesday, action means using their shoes to kill the bugs.

For more information, and to report spotted lanternflies in Pennsylvania, visit this state website.