Spotted lanternfly sightings up 500% compared to last year in Pennsylvania: Officials

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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INVASION: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says spotted lanternfly reports and sightings are up 500% compared to last year.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Take a walk around Center City Philadelphia and it seems like the spotted lanternflies are everywhere.

At the corner of 16th and Race streets, insects are multiplying.

While it's hard to track official numbers, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says reports and sightings are up 500% compared to last year.

READ MORE: 'SQUISH IT!' Scientists calling on everyone to kill spotted lanternflies on sight

They aren't harmful to people, but they do destroy crops and vegetation.

And while no one knows quite why they love the city so much, it seems they're not very welcome here.

State officials say you can do your part. If you see them, they ask that you stomp on them.