|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne
Even though there has been no sign to date of the Spotted Lanternfly in Luzerne County, state officials are urging residents to be vigilant and watch for the highly-invasive insect.
So far, thirteen counties in southeastern Pennsylvania have been placed under a quarantine by the state Department of Agriculture to help contain the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, which has the potential to pose a significant threat to the viticulture (grape), tree fruit, plant nursery and timber industries.
Those counties include Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.
The department is asking anyone who lives outside the current quarantine area who finds a Spotted Lanternfly to report it.
The insect is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest that is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam.
Adults often cluster in groups and lay egg masses containing 30-50 eggs that adhere to flat surfaces including tree bark. Freshly laid egg masses have a grey waxy mud-like coating, while hatched eggs appear as brownish seed-like deposits in four to seven columns about an inch long. Trees attacked by the Spotted Lanternfly will show a grey or black trail of sap down the trunk.
If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. Please then report all destroyed egg masses on the department website, www.agriculture.pa.gov
Specimens of any life stage of the Spotted Lanternfly can be turned in to the department’s entomology lab for verification. Submit samples with the Entomology Program Sample Submission Form, which is also available on the department’s website.
A photograph of any life stage of the insect (including egg masses) can be submitted to Badbug@pa.gov
If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office