Pennsylvania Teen Wins National Science Fair and Patent for Spotted Lanternfly Trap

Motivated by the invasion of the Spotted Lanternfly, Harleysville, Pennsylvania teen Rachel Bergey showed initiative by engineering an inventive solution.

Improving on existing solutions such as cutting down otherwise healthy trees, spraying potentially harmful chemicals, or using sticky tape that can trap helpful insects or even birds, Rachel engineered a more benign trap using tin foil and a net.

The trap used the Spotted Lanternfly’s natural instinct to always climb up and not down the tree trunk to capture them. After many rounds of iteration, Rachel found that her trap caught over double the lanternflies of traditional sticky tape, while capturing 94% fewer other insects.

For her work, Rachel earned multiple awards at national science fairs, including a $10,000 prize, as well as a patent for her invention. Traps have since hit the market employing a similar circle trap design, such as this trap from Lanternfly Trap Co.

Watch Rachel Bergey present her work in the video below.