Harrisburg, Pennsylvania –As the spring outbreak of the invasive spotted lanternfly approaches, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that the department has added 11 counties to Pennsylvania’s quarantine zone. Adams, Armstrong, Bedford, Center, Fulton, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Snyder, Union and Washington counties bring the total to 45 quarantined Pennsylvania counties.
“Dappled lanterns threaten outdoor businesses and quality of life as well as the grapes and other valuable crops on which Pennsylvania’s economy depends,” Redding said. “It’s up to every Pennsylvanian to be on the lookout for these nasty insects. Walk through your yard, gardens, or land before spring hatches and scrape out the egg masses. Kill every insect. Check your vehicles before traveling to ensure you are not transporting them to a new area for new opportunities to devastate crops and outdoor quality of life.”
Adult Lanterns do not survive the winter months. However, last season’s insects laid eggs on any outdoor surface in masses of 30-60 eggs, each covered in a protective coating similar to mud or mastic. Finding and destroying egg masses now will prevent them from hatching and reduce their spread this season.
In the seven seasons since the lanterns were discovered in the United States, research funded by the department, USDA and private industry has advanced our understanding of the insect and how to safely control it. in our climate and our habitat. For information on how to recognize the insect and its eggs, how to separate common myths from facts, and how to safely control it on your property, visit the Penn State Extension website, extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly or contact your local PSU extension. Office.
Known lantern fly infestations are not widespread in newly quarantined counties, but in scattered municipalities shown on the department’s detailed online map. When the department receives reports of lanterns in new areas, inspectors confirm the presence of the insect and then inspect the area to determine if it is an isolated insect or a larger population. Working with landlords, inspectors address areas that pose a high risk of spreading the insect, such as high-traffic businesses, tourist attractions, and transportation hubs.
Quarantine strictly prohibits the movement of any living stage of the Mottled Lantern, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults, and regulates the movement of items that may harbor the insect.
Businesses operating in or traveling to quarantined counties must obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The permit is designed to educate business travelers – regardless of their industry and whether or not they transport goods – to recognize dappled lanterns and how to avoid taking them to a new area. More than 20,000 businesses in the United States and Canada have obtained permits, representing more than 1.2 million of their employees who are doing their part to stop the spread of the invasive insect.
For more information on spotted lanterns, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly. To learn more about how Governor Tom Wolf’s historic PA Farm Bill invests in a vibrant and sustainable agriculture industry, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
Editor’s note: High-quality public domain photos of Spotted Lanternfly are available for download through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly Flickr album.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers, 717.603.2056, [email protected]