Spotted lanternflies may be one of the most annoying invasive pests plaguing the United States.
These notorious red polka-dotted menaces have cost Americans and the economy *literally* hundreds of millions of dollars by destroying our crops and wreaking havoc on local ecosystems.
Because of this, state governments across America are trying to get people more involved in “stomping out” the problem.
While stomping out a lanternfly is effective for the ones you see on the ground, most people’s shoes can’t handle an entire infestation.
That’s why Liv Volker, a Pennsylvania-based healthcare worker, shared her best tip for dealing with a horde of these invasive insects.
This “Bottle Trick” is an insanely fast way to capture the pests without having to worry about squishing any bugs.
In the video, Volker goes up and down an infested tree with her plastic cup, placing the opening of the bottle around the bugs and sucking them up quickly. By the end, her cup is nearly full of invasive lanternflies.
One TikTok user put Volker’s Bottle Trick to the test and later commented, “I did this the other day. Kinda satisfying ina [sic] weird way.”
Many commenters have asked Volker what she does after she’s filled the bottles. She bluntly explains, “I stomp on them.” But for those who don’t want to, you could always throw the bottle in the trash.
Why are spotted lanternflies so harmful?
The spotted lanternfly, a planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam, was first identified in the U.S. in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Without any natural predators, minus the occasional TikToker, spotted lanternflies have continued to ravage our crops and native plants. Spotted lanternflies also lay large masses of eggs at a time, allowing them to multiply out of control.
They can harm and even kill plants by draining their sap, and their excrement aids in the spread of fungal diseases that can further harm plants. And because these bugs like to attack plants that are economically valuable, such as walnut and oak trees, they’re affecting everyday Americans who rely on these plants as part of their livelihoods.