Killing the Spotted Lanternflies: A Communal Catharsis


Courtesy of The Allegheny Front

Killing the Spotted Lanternflies: A Communal Catharsis

Tina Aron, Staff Writer

2020 has been a rough year, leaving us to depend on any moments of happiness. It comes down to the small things that bring us joy, and sometimes that small thing is a spotted lanternfly.

Spotted lanternflies, the detrimental invasive species that arrived on campus a few years ago, are the embodiment of chaos. They work to destroy our native species while simultaneously landing and flying into unsuspecting passers-by. With no known natural predator, these insects breed and produce without control.

They are practically everywhere you turn, whether they’re littered through the West tunnel or harassing innocent bystanders. While killing the lanternflies is a good way to fight their environmental impact, it also works to bring the community together in a shared cathartic experience.

“The camaraderie you will experience upon killing a lanternfly in the presence of others is truly second to none,” sophomore Eleanor Dalass said when speaking about how students work together to step on these invaders,

While some of us face the moral dilemma of letting insects live in their natural environment, others rise above this and realize the importance of killing these bugs.

“Lanternflies are an invasive species, and many Villanova students come together to kill them; it feels like a team effort to defeat the evil invading lanternflies,” another sophomore student added. “They are the only bugs I don’t feel guilty about killing actually.”

I am happy to say that I go to a school where no one takes a second look when someone goes out of their way to chase down a lanternfly, but rather cheers each other on. Villanova students are known for their service, and killing these bugs is ultimately our service to the environment.

Stepping on lanternflies is something small we can do to make a difference, while simultaneously uniting against a common cause. It shows that when working together, truly anything is possible. Sophomore Hillary O’Neill says it best: “It’s something that unites people: a common purpose.”