Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Grows in Pennsylvania

Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Grows in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently announced the expansion of the state’s spotted lanternfly quarantine to include Dauphin County after reports of a population in that county.

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The following Pennsylvania counties are currently under quarantine: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill.

SLF is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops. SLF feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky honeydew, which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder the quality of life due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.

Last month, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russel Redding announced that 150 researchers and experts with the state and Penn State University are studying spotted lanternfly and working to control its spread this year.

Starting May 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry will begin inspections and verification checks for businesses inside the quarantine area to prevent its further movement.

In late February, Delaware declared emergency quarantines for 11 different zip codes in New Castle County, eight of which border either Pennsylvania or New Jersey.