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09/22/2017

Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expands in Six Southeastern PA Counties

List of commonly available pesticides for controlling invasive pest now available online


Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has added 26 municipalities in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties to the areas quarantined after confirming the presence of Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive species that threatens a number of agricultural products and plant species. The quarantine was already in effect in other areas of the six counties.

“Spotted Lanternfly can be devastating to apple and grape growers, and to our hardwood industry,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.  “It can also be an expensive nuisance for homeowners. It’s been three years since this pest was discovered in Pennsylvania – the first time it had been found in the U.S. We’ve worked closely with our partners in two other agencies, and the federal government and we’re engaging the public to help us identify and report sightings of this pest. The citizens who have responded to our outreach and reported sightings of the insect have been a tremendous help.”

The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted insect native to Southeast Asia. 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.

The quarantine is an important legal designation that directs residents and municipal authorities to follow guidelines to prevent the movement of Spotted Lanternflies at any stage of development. This includes inspecting all wood and vegetation that might leave the quarantined municipality, in addition to inspecting vehicles, trailers and other mobile equipment prior to moving it out of the quarantined area.

The quarantine now covers the following municipalities. Newly added locations are listed in bold:

Berks County

  • Reading City; Albany, Alsace, Amity, Centre, Colebrookdale, Cumru, District, Douglass, Earl, Exeter, Greenwich, Hereford, Longswamp, Lower Alsace, Maiden Creek, Maxatawny, Oley, Ontelaunee, Perry, Pike, Richmond, Robeson, Rockland, Ruscombmanor, Union and Washington townships; and Bally, Bechtelsville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centerport, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Lyons, Mt. Penn, St. Lawrence, and Topton boroughs

Bucks County

  • Bedminster, Haycock, Hilltown, Milford, New Britain, Plumstead, and Richland townships; and Chalfont, Dublin, New Britain, Quakertown, Richlandtown, Silverdale and Trumbauersville boroughs

Chester County

  • East Coventry, East Pikeland, East Vincent, North Coventry, South Coventry, Warwick, and West Vincent townships; Phoenixville and Spring City boroughs

Lehigh County

  • Allentown and Bethlehem cities; Heidelberg, Lower Macungie, Lower Milford, Lowhill, North Whitehall, Salisbury, South Whitehall, Upper Macungie, Upper Milford, Upper Saucon, Weisenberg and Whitehall townships; and Alburtis, Catasauqua, Coopersburg, Coplay, Emmaus and Macungie boroughs

Montgomery County

  • Douglass, Franconia, Hatfield, Limerick, Lower Frederick, Lower Pottsgrove, Lower Providence, Lower Salford, Marlborough, New Hanover, Salford, Shippack, Towamencin, Upper Frederick Upper Hanover, Upper Pottsgrove, Upper Providence, Upper Salford, and West Pottsgrove townships; and Collegeville, East Greenville, Green Lane, Hatfield, Lansdale, Pennsburg, Pottstown, Red Hill, Royersford, Schwenksville, Souderton, and Trappe boroughs

Northampton County

  • Bethlehem city, Allen, Bethlehem, East Allen, Hanover, Lower Nazareth, Moore, and Upper Nazareth townships; Northampton and Nazareth boroughs

Businesses in quarantined areas may need to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate from the department to move articles out of the area. Local Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspectors can work with businesses to ensure that they are complying with quarantine restrictions.

Control efforts are focused on containing the insect’s spread within the quarantined area by eliminating insects and the Ailanthus trees that are their preferred breeding and feeding sites, in and around quarantine borders. Work crews are also concentrating on areas that pose the greatest risk for transporting insects, such as railway beds, interstates and other transportation corridors where the Ailanthus, or Tree of Heaven, grows.

Earlier this year, the department received $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund efforts to control the insect, and $25,000 for outreach efforts to combat its spread. The Pennsylvania departments of Transportation, and Conservation and Natural Resources have joined strategic control work. USDA staff members have also joined the cooperative effort, at no expense to the state.

The state has responded as fully as possible to reports of insects within already quarantined areas, but funding and staff are not adequate to respond to each individual sighting, nor does the state or federal government provide pesticide or tree removal services.

The department, in conjunction with Penn State Extension, has issued a list of commonly available products that are helpful in controlling the insect. The list includes products labeled for landscaping and garden uses, as well as those labeled for use on vegetables, fruit, berries and grapes. It includes products labeled for systemic use on trees — or those that are absorbed by the tree and travel throughout to kill insects where they feed. The list also links to extensive information on how to recognize and eliminate both the insects and their host trees, in addition to the full range of information available on the Department of Agriculture’s website, agriculture.pa.gov.

Although research to determine the most effective pesticides is not yet complete, all products listed include ingredients Penn State Extension and researchers have found useful in killing the insects: dinotefuran, imidacloprid, carbaryl, and bifenthrin. All products should be used as directed on the label.

The department encourages anyone who finds the insects outside quarantined areas to report sightings to badbug@pa.gov. Please include photos, if possible, to help us confirm your sighting. Suspect specimens can be submitted directly to the department’s headquarters in Harrisburg or to any of its six regional offices. Specimens also can be submitted to your county Penn State Extension office. Do not submit live specimens. You may also call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189. Please provide details, including the location of the sighting and your contact information. You may not receive an immediate response, as call volume is high.

Find more information, including a one-minute video about the Spotted Lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternflyalert.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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