|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
Fourteen counties in southeast Pennsylvania are currently included in the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone identified by the state Department of Agriculture. Officials are urging the public to help prevent the spread of the invasive insect by making sure they are not transporting the spotted lanternfly to other parts of the Commonwealth. Vigilance is especially important as the pest’s egg-laying season is now here.
The planthopper, native to Asia, has the potential to harm Pennsylvania’s economy by damaging crops, landscapes and natural ecosystems, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.
The quarantine zone where the spotted lanternfly is a growing problem includes Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties.
Anyone traveling from those counties should take the following precautions before hitting the road:
- Walk around your vehicle and check closely for any spotted lanternfly adults and/or nymphs; particularly check the windshield wiper area, bumpers and wheel wells. In fall and winter, also look for egg masses, which have the appearance of mud splatters.
- Check any piece of equipment or item that you will be transporting that has been outdoors in the quarantine area – such as grills, tents, tables or yard games.
- Do not park your RV or other vehicles under trees. Keep your windows up at all times.
- Check yourself before getting into any vehicle to make sure there are no spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults on you.
For more information about how to identify and control spotted lanternfly, how to report an infestation and how to comply with quarantine regulations, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office