PHS Students Build Lanternfly Traps from Household Materials

Science National Honors Society members use science to help their community


Homemade spotted lanternfly trap

Members of Piscataway High School’s Science National Honors Society recently built lanternfly traps to deal with the ongoing problem that lantern flies have caused to the community.

SNHS president, Ananya Guntur, explained the project in more detail: “The goal of the project was to look out for the community,” she said. “We realized that the lantern flies were an invasive species, which led us to think about how we can help given that we were a club of science enthusiasts.”

The traps were created using plastic mesh, twine, wire, tape, one-gallon jugs, Ziploc bags, and glue. Danielle Puglisi, an instructional coach from Branchburg Public Schools, came in and helped guide members on how to build traps. She had experience in building these traps through a Rutgers University design challenge. She also taught them about the effect that lantern flies have on the environment.

Lantern flies are extremely dangerous to the community. They take in the sap from many different trees and potentially damage the plant’s health. This is taxing on any creature that relies on that tree. Overall, they have a devastating effect on agriculture.

It took around 30 minutes for everyone to get the basic foundation for their traps. To complete the overall project, it took around 45 minutes.

Although it has only been a couple of weeks, there have already been results. The traps caught a significant amount of bugs. We hope that the traps will continue to catch as many flies as possible.