Pennsylvania Ag Department Expands Spotted Lanternfly Surveillance

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Six municipalities in counties currently infested with spotted lanternflies have been added to Pennsylvania’s quarantine after small populations of the invasive species were found there.

Affected are Alsace and Exeter townships, and Lyons and St. Lawrence boroughs in Berks County; Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County; and West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County. These municipalities are adjacent to previously quarantined areas, which include a portion of Chester County

The spotted lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest that is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam.

It is an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania. The pest had not been found in the United States prior to its initial detection in Berks County in the fall of 2014.

“With every season we learn more about spotted lanternfly, how they live and how we can best eliminate them,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “These general quarantines help us to better isolate spotted lanternfly to the communities in these four infested counties and stand a better chance of eradicating it from North America.”

Since this season’s survey work began on May 1, eight crews and 34 volunteers have continued to band trees, scrape egg masses and otherwise combat the spotted lanternfly.

Eradication efforts have banded more than 9,580 ailanthus trees, killed more than 454,000 spotted lanternflies, and removed more than 618,000 eggs — more than 1.1 million spotted lanternflies.

Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, attacks grapes, apples, pines and stone fruits. It often attaches to the bark of the tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, an invasive species similar to sumac that can be found around parking lots or along tree lines.

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 mudlike coating, while hatched eggs appear as brownish seedlike deposits in four to seven columns about an inch long.

Trees attacked by the spotted lanternfly will show a gray or black trail of sap down the trunk.

For more information about the spotted lanternfly, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov and search “lanternfly.”

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