Penn alumnus Brad Line has created an app to kill spotted lanternflies, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"Squishr" features a ranking system that tracks the number of lanternflies a person has killed. Participants document their lanternfly kills using photographic evidence and location available to other users of the app. Users with the highest number of kills can make the “Today’s Top Squishers" list.
In Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, the Spotted Lanternfly is considered an invasive species originating from Southeast Asia. According to research from Penn State, the species eats dozens of different plant species, posing a threat to Pennsylvania's $18 billion dollar agricultural industry.
The app was released on the Apple App Store on Sept. 21. By the end of the day, 130 people had signed up, with 160 additional people signing up the next day, The Inquirer reported.
“The farthest west and south is Kennett Square," Line told The Inquirer. “The farthest north is near the Allentown area now, and the farthest east is in Center City in Philadelphia."
Line came up with the idea when his two sons, Greyson and Nolan were bombarded with lanternflies while traveling in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The boys would squash the lanternflies repeatedly, and subsequently asked their father if there would be some way to create a fun app involving squashing these bugs.
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