Spotted Lanternfly quarantine expands in Pennsylvania
The quarantine, which affects parts of six Pennsylvania counties, restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest.
"Spotted Lanternfly takes the winter off, but our staff are constantly watching for signs of this dangerous pest, and working on ways to eliminate it from North America," said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding.
"We count on residents to help us in this fight, whether you are currently affected by the quarantine or not. Please look for egg masses, destroy them, and break the cycle."
The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest that is native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. It is an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania.
The pest had not been found in the United States prior to its initial detection in Berks County in the fall of 2014.
Spotted Lanternfly does not seem to be significantly impacted by weather shifts, including February’s unseasonably warm weeks, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture entomologists have found.
In the fall, adults lay egg masses on nearly any flat surface, which can include outdoor furniture, equipment, stone and block, as well as the outsides and undersides of vehicles.
Egg masses will hatch in the spring. Each egg mass contains 35-50 young Spotted Lanternflies. If you see eggs on trees or other smooth outdoor surfaces, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them in the garbage, or place the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.
Redding encouraged residents inside the quarantine zone to report any yet-unreported locations of Spotted Lanternfly infestations to the department. ■
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