|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
With more than half of Pennsylvania’s counties, including Luzerne County, now in a quarantine zone due to infestation by spotted lanternfly, the state Department of Agriculture and Penn State Extension are again encouraging all of us to be on the lookout for the invasive insect.
Cambria, Cameron, Franklin, Lackawanna, Montour, Pike, Wayne and Westmoreland counties were recently added to the quarantine zone ahead of the bug’s spring hatch.
Quick, aggressive treatment to newly identified populations of spotted lanternfly has been funded through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the past two years. Another $3 million to combat the insect has been proposed for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The spotted lanternfly presents a significant threat to the state’s grape, wine and hardwoods industries, and to the quality of life of all of us who enjoy spending time outdoors.
You can help combat this pest by learning how to remove and destroy spotted lanternfly eggs. A video that explains the process is available for viewing at www.extension.psu.edu
You are also asked to squash the bugs when you see them and to then file a report by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-422-3359) or using the online reporting tool also available on the Penn State Extension website.
Since 2015, the Department of Agriculture has received more than $34 million to combat spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania – $20 million in federal funds and another $14 million in state investment. The department also awarded more than $260,000 in January for four priority research projects.
For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office