DIY Spotted Lanternfly Trap

Build your own SLF Circle Hoop tree trap 

This trap can be used for all instars and adult Spotted Lanternflies (SLF’s). You can also watch a video on YouTube for additional directions and info:  

Materials Needed

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie pen
  • Window screen .
  • Tape (electrical, duct or flashing)
  • Plastic cups (clear solo cups work well)
  • Galvanized steel wire and wire cutters 
  • Push pins, staple gun
  • Bags (large Ziploc, or party favor bags with tie, or make from tulle or insect netting), rubber bands


  • Measure circumference of the tree; 
  • Add 20 to this number; this will be the length of your trap; the height will be 16 inches for trees less than 4 feet around, and up to 24 inches high for larger trees. Cut out the required rectangular piece of screen.
  • Fold screen in ½, along the height; curve off the two bottom open corners.
  • Make 2 slits in the middle corner where folded over (diagonally opposite to the curved-off corners):  1 cut 1” down the middle, one off to the side (open up, see 3 slits, to put cup in the middle).
  • Measure entire length of the curved side while open (or double it when measured folded) (for #10).
  • Cut hole in bottom of cup. (Slice an “x” into bottom, then cut out carefully), leaving a small rim.  Make a guide mark 1” up in cut bottom w/sharpie.
  • Cut 4 small pieces of tape: Attach cup to one piece of cut flap of screen using guide mark; put a small piece of tape on other side to tape the other flap to the cup.
  • Flip screen over to taped part, tape each other part as well.
  • Then tape the cup all around, at least twice, to securely tape to screen (or wait for #13).
  • Cut wire for the hoop:  length of curve plus 2”.  Straighten out the wire.
  • Keeping wire fairly straight, thread along the curve. 
    Bend a loop on each end.  Smooth screen out along the wire. 
  • Use a rubber band to attach trap bag to cup (or simply tie around a large party favor bag!)
  • Put trap up on tree (note: you can use a staple gun instead of the pins) 
  • Pin the trap to the tree on both sides of the cup
  • Pin bag loosely to one side (so SLF’s go up and don’t fall straight down)
  • Pull 2 sides of trap around tree at a downward angle until they meet.
  • Fold top edges down underneath, to make a “hem” for SLF’s to get caught in; stretch taught, then pin in the middle.
  • Use more pins to make taught around the tree.
  • If tree has deep grooves, try pinning/stapling in each groove to maintain a good seal (or stuff batting or tree wrap in grooves, or, put batting around under screen as you lay screen on tree – stays in better – but there is some concern about leaving batting for long periods against the tree, if you use batting, you may need to move the trap up or down the after a few weeks or months
  • Fold ends of wires together or sew back into screening.

Replace/empty as needed.  Predator insects may also eat through net bags!

Trap Maintenance

Maintain a good seal around the tree, so there are no gaps for them to climb out of trap.

Re-stuff the batting/tree wrap if it was used (deep-grooved trees; squirrels may climb up and mess up)

Re-pin as needed (longer pins help).

Check the bag for holes or if full, replace as needed.

Make sure the trap stays flared out.  Where they are flat against the tree SLF’s just climb
over!  (Hoops are supposed to stay flared - if not, can put sticks or pin pieces of foam piping to keep them out).

This was modified from Penn State’s Circle trap, directions

Schuylkill Valley Nature Center Demonstrates making the above Penn State Circle trap “ Wildlife safe trap” (forward past the dead birds on sticky tape):

Commercial traps available:  

Hockessin Hardware store is selling pre-ordered 42” Penn State Circle traps for $19.99.  Call them at (302)234-4777 .

Great Lakes IPM, Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) traps: 

Another DIY variation with dryer venting:

Another simple option with window screening folded down: