Officials urge control, prevention of poison hemlock, spotted lanternfly

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Commissioners in Cumberland and Franklin County want residents to be aware of two invasive species threatening south central Pennsylvania.

Poison hemlock is a toxic plant that produces small white flowers in an umbrella shape. Symptoms can range from a severe rash if touched, to the possibility of death if eaten. The plant debris remains poisonous for three years.

People who spot poison hemlock are asked to cut it and bag it, but not burn it. You should always wear long sleeves and pants, and wash anything that comes in contact with poison hemlock with soap and water.

The other invasive species is an insect: the spotted lanternfly.

Since its first appearance in Pennsylvania in 2014, the spotted lanternfly has spread to 13 counties. It is not harmful to people, but threatens hardwoods, fruit trees, grape vines, and hops vines.

If you think you have found the Spotted Lanternfly, you can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture by calling (866) 253-7189 or visiting https://www.pa.gov/

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