It all started back in 2014.
The first recorded sighting of the Spotted Lanternfly in the U.S. was in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Since then, the PA Department of Agriculture and supporting organizations (including us) have been working hard to contain the invasion.
Why Is This a Big Deal?
The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper native to certain countries in Asia. There, natural predators have kept it in check, but in 2004, an invasion occurred in Korea and ravaged important agricultural crops.
The Spotted Lanternfly attacks grapes, fruit trees, pines, and other agricultural crops. Its feeding damage can kill these plants, especially when coupled with drought, diseases, and other pests.
What Can You Do?
There are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly. First, be aware that many areas across the state of Pennsylvania are under a quarantine of the movement of logs (including firewood), yard waste, and even outdoor household items that could potentially spread egg masses to other regions.
The best thing you can do is to help stop the spread of Lanternfly egg masses. Here’s how:
- Search tree trunks, stone surfaces, vehicles, lawn furniture, and any smooth surface for egg masses. Masses will have a gray putty-like covering on top of them. Tree of Heaven is the preferred egg-laying site.
- Scrape masses from the surface. Be sure to remove all the seed-like black/brown eggs from under the wax coating.
- Double bag and trash, burn, or submerge the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer.
If you do find evidence of the Spotted Lanternfly in your yard, please report it. All reports of the pest are helpful to its eradication. Reports within the quarantine are registered in a database for USDA and PDA.
If you think you have found the Spotted Lanternfly outside of the current quarantined area, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 1-866-253-7189or email firstname.lastname@example.org.