Citizens encouraged to check for egg masses before spring hatching
Harrisburg, PA - Coopersburg Borough and Salisbury Township are the latest municipalities to be quarantined due to the presence of the invasive insect Spotted Lanternfly.
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.
If you live outside the quarantined zone and find a specimen, first place the sample in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak-proof container. Then, submit the specimen to your county Penn State Extension office or to the department’s entomology lab for verification. Do not move live specimens. There are many places even inside the quarantine area that do not have active populations of Spotted Lanternfly, so do not help them to establish a new home base. Be sure to look before you leave.
The general quarantine of these infested areas restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest. This includes firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, packing materials like boxes, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household articles like lawnmowers, grills, tarps and other equipment, as well as trucks and vehicles not typically stored indoors.
The quarantine now covers:
- Berks County: Alsace, Amity, Centre, Colebrookdale, District, Douglass, Earl, Exeter, Hereford, Longswamp, Maiden Creek, Maxatawny, Oley, Pike, Richmond, Robeson, Rockland, Ruscombmanor, Union and Washington townships, and the boroughs of Bally, Bechtelsville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centreport, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Lyons, St. Lawrence, and Topton
- Bucks County: Haycock, Milford and Richland townships and Richlandtown, Quakertown, and Trumbauersville boroughs
- Chester County: East Coventry, East Pikeland, East Vincent, North Coventry, South Coventry, and Warwick townships, and Spring City Borough
- Lehigh County: Salisbury, Upper Saucon, Lower Macungie, Upper Macungie, Upper Milford, Lower Milford, Whitehall, and South Whitehall townships; the boroughs of Alburtis, Coopersburg, Emmaus and Macungie; and the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem
- Montgomery County: Douglass, Marlborough, New Hanover, Upper Hanover, Upper Providence, Upper Pottsgrove, Upper Salford, Upper Frederick, Limerick, Lower Frederick, Lower Pottsgrove and West Pottsgrove townships, and the boroughs of East Greenville, Pennsburg, Pottstown, Red Hill and Royersford
- Northampton County: Bethlehem City
Visit www.agriculture.pa.gov to access the “Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Checklist” or contact a local municipality or extension office. The checklist provides guidelines for inspecting vehicles and other items stored outdoors each time they are moved out of the quarantine area.
Businesses in the general quarantine area may need to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate from the department in order to move articles. Local Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspectors can work with businesses to ensure that they are complying with quarantine restrictions.
Photos of adults or egg masses found outside of the quarantined areas can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a site, call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 and provide details of the sighting and your contact information.
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 county Penn State Extension offices.
For more information about the Spotted Lanternfly, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov and look under “Hot Topics” for Spotted Lanternfly.
MEDIA CONTACT: Will Nichols - 717-787-5085
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