The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that first appeared in our area in 2014. The lanternfly is harmful to many important plants and trees. Learn how to identify the lanternfly and what they’re such a threat.

Starting in October, lanternflies lay their eggs. This is your chance to help limit next year’s lanternfly population!

Check out our guidance below to learn:

  • What the eggs look like.

  • Where to find them.

  • How to destroy them.

Identify and destroy spotted lanternfly eggs


  • Egg masses vary in size.
  • The masses are typically an inch long by 3/4 of an inch wide.
  • The female secretes a white, waxy substance over the eggs to protect the mass.
  • When dried, the egg masses they look like light grayish splotches of mud, cement, or lichen.
  • Each mass holds 30 to 50 eggs.
Photo: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension.


  • You can find spotted lanternfly egg masses from September to June.


Lanternflies lay eggs in areas protected from wind and harsh winters, such as:

  • Tree trunks.
  • The undersides of tree branches.
  • Rocks.
  • Outdoor sheds and equipment.
  • Any surface that is sheltered.
Egg masses on a bench post (left) and close-up (right). Photos: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension.


Once you’ve found lanternfly egg masses, destroying them is easy!

Option 1: Crushing
  • Crush the eggs by dragging a credit card, putty knife, or another hard implement across the egg mass.
  • The eggs will pop as you press down. You may see liquid released as the eggs underneath burst.
Crush lanternfly egg masses with a credit card or other flat item. Photo: Penn State Extension video.
Option 2: Scraping
  1. Fill a plastic baggie with a few ounces of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  2. Scrape the eggs off the surface with a credit card, putty knife, or butter knife into the bag.
  3. Make sure the eggs come in contact with the alcohol/sanitizer. The eggs must remain in the alcohol solution.
  4. Take the bag, place it in another bag, and discard it.
Scrape egg masses into a bag filled with some alcohol or sanitizer. Photo: Nancy Bosold, Penn State Extension.

View a Penn State Extension video on how to kill the eggs.

Note: some egg masses high up in a tree will be unreachable. Other egg masses may be well-hidden from view. This means you will still see lanternfly nymphs and adults next year. But destroying all the egg masses you can find will help to reduce their spread!


Learn how to make a lanternfly trap, and read the most up-to-date information on lanternfly research and control.