The spotted lanternfly is a serious invasive pest discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. It is native to China, India and Vietnam and was also introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect has the potential to greatly impact over 90 species of plants including fruit trees, vegetables, grapes, hops and many different hardwood trees.
On May 26, a new Spotted Lanternfly Order of Quarantine and Treatment was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture established the quarantine order to stop the pest from moving out of the current quarantine zone. The ag department is also trying to minimize the insect’s movement within the quarantine area by deterring the movement of higher populations on plant materials, building materials, equipment, vehicles, etc., into areas with low to no populations.
The current quarantine zone encompasses 13 counties, including Lancaster County.
All residents and businesses must comply with the regulations. A spotted lanternfly permit is required for any business performing work within and/or moving goods out of a quarantine zone. This will include farm businesses such as nurseries, greenhouses, woodworking businesses and others that sell materials that could contain eggs, young or adult spotted lanternflies.
An owner, supervisor or manager designated from each business must complete the required training and take a 20-question exam. Each person who successfully completes the training and examination will receive a permit allowing for normal business operation. This person will be responsible for training employees on what to look for and how to safeguard against moving spotted lanternfly. The department encourages everyone, even those who do not need a permit, to take advantage of training.
The following training and testing sessions are being offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Department of Agriculture:
• Aug. 3 from 1-3 p.m. at the Paradise Township building, 2 Township Drive, Paradise.
• Aug. 9 from 1-3 p.m. at Gideon King Hardware, 466 Elam Road, Kinzers.
• Aug. 10 from 1-3 p.m. at Daniel’s Farm Store, 324 Glenbrook Road, Leola.
To register, contact Jeff Miller at the ag department at 717-772-5206 or email email@example.com.