• Outdoors Outdoors

Student shares unbelievable swarm of invasive insects spotted outside dorm window: 'That's horrifying'

"Can exterminators do anything about outdoor swarms like this?"

"Can exterminators do anything about outdoor swarms like this?"

Photo Credit: iStock

There are worse things to do when you wake up than look out your window and take in the beauty of your natural surroundings — unless you're this student. 

They turned to Reddit to share the view from their dorm window — a teeming swarm of the invasive spotted lanternfly — to the aptly named subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating

Photo Credit: Reddit

"The number of lantern flies outside my dorm," they captioned the post

Exactly what that number is would be impossible to say — that's how many spotted lanternflies there are. The photo shows that they have gathered on the brick wall underneath a ledge and appear to be populated in the hundreds if not thousands. 

According to PennState Extension, the spotted lanternfly was first detected in the United States in 2014. They are sap-sucking insects and can be detrimental to the health of plants they feed on. 

Invasive species are a major concern for biodiversity, as they outcompete native plants and animals for the resources necessary to survive and thrive. 

In general, there are many simple actions we can take to fight the spread of invasive species, including cleaning off our gear after an outdoor excursion and never releasing pets or houseplants into the wild. 

In the case of the spotted lanternfly, others have tried to interrupt the spread by setting traps. For example, one Redditor used tape, window screening, and push pins to capture the pests. 

Other Redditors took to the comments section of this student's post to express their dismay and suggest some solutions, though perhaps not entirely pragmatic ones. 

"That's horrifying," one user said. "Can exterminators do anything about outdoor swarms like this?"

"Not sure what the protocol with lantern flies is," the OP replied, "but fire always does the trick."  

"Honey, get the flamethrower," another Redditor commented.

If you come across the invasive pests, consider trying this satisfying TikTok hack to get rid of them while doing your local ecosystem a favor.

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