Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Shares Tips to Limit Spread of Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly QuarantineCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

MONONGAHELA, PA —Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding yesterday visited Washington County to remind residents of the spotted lanternfly quarantines and share tips on how to help limit their spread. The destructive, invasive insect poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania agriculture, and state and local leaders are asking for the help of residents in containing the outbreak.

As the spotted lanternfly continues to spread across Pennsylvania, state officials are asking residents to remain vigilant in their efforts to combat the pest. Since first being discovered in Berks County in 2014, the spotted lanternfly has been detected in 58 of the state’s 67 counties.

The insect poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, as well as to native plants and trees. In order to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly, state officials are asking residents to take steps such as inspecting their vehicles and luggage for the insects before traveling and not transporting firewood from affected areas.

Additionally, researchers are working to develop new methods of controlling the spotted lanternfly population, such as releasing specially-trained wasps that target the insect’s eggs. By working together, Pennsylvania residents can help protect their state from this destructive pest.

Research funded by the state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and private industry has advanced Pennsylvania’s understanding of the spotted lanternfly and how to safely control it in our climate and habitat. Visit Penn State Extension’s website, extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly, for more information on how to recognize the insect and its egg masses, separate common myths from facts, and safely control it on your property.

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In March, the state’s quarantine to control the insect expanded to 45 counties, including Washington County, the location of yesterday’s event. The quarantine prohibits the movement of any spotted lanternfly life stage including egg masses, nymphs, and adults, and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect. For more information on the state’s quarantine expansion, visit Penn State Extension’s website or contact your local PSU Extension office.

Pennsylvania is asking for your help to stop the spotted lanternfly from spreading. With the recently released 2022 Spotted Lanternfly Social Media Toolkit, you can easily learn how to identify and report sightings of this invasive species. You can help protect Pennsylvania’s agriculture by sharing this information with your friends and family. Together, we can stop the spotted lanternfly.

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