Central Pa. Wildlife Center implores residents to remove or cover lantern tape
Volunteers from the Raven Ridge Wildlife Center in Washington Boro, Lancaster County, issued an appeal earlier this week to anyone who wrapped duct tape around their trees to catch them.
Remove the tape or cover it up, the center said in a Facebook post.
Too many other animals attach themselves to it by mistake and suffer injuries.
“We are asking to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE put a protected screen around the tape on your trees or REMOVE the tape altogether,” the post read. “The Lanterns are at the stage of jumping and jumping away. The tape is of no use and at this point is causing serious problems for our juvenile and adult wildlife. Mothers teach their young how to survive and leaning into the use of trees is an important part of their survival.
The post went on to point out that two bats recently ventured into the strip and had to be removed, “but not without heartache. The first bat has a broken wing which we don’t know will heal properly for flight, the second bat was a nursing mother and now two baby bats are starving. This now affects 4 bat lives for 1 lanternfly stuck to the tape.
“These animals come to us in pain,” he continued, “crying and scared and most don’t even survive 24 hours before they die.”
Right now, most people in central and eastern Pennsylvania are families with lanterns, an invasive pest that was discovered in Berks County in 2014.
It took a few years, but the lanterns not only moved from the original site to outside the borders of Pennsylvania, where they have now been identified in 11 other states, but have also raised their profile significantly in converging on urban and suburban neighborhoods en masse.
This prompted a number of suggested remedies to trap or kill them, including tape. Many products are now available at hardware stores and on amazon.com.
But the more duct tape that has been applied to the trees, the more places like the shelter see the fallout of other animals getting caught.
Not only are they a nuisance, especially once they mature into adults in August and September, but a 2019 economic impact study estimates that, left unchecked, this insect could cost the state $324 million. dollars a year and more than 2,800 jobs, the Pa. Department of Agriculture said.
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