HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone has increased by 12 counties ahead of the 2020 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine for this invasive pest is now at 26 counties.
“The Spotted Lanternfly is more than a pest in the literal sense,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “It’s wreaking havoc for home and business owners; kids who just want to play outside; Pennsylvania agriculture and the economy of the state we all call home. Whether you think it’s your job or not, we need every Pennsylvanian to keep their eyes peeled for signs of this bad bug – to scrape every egg mass, squash every bug, and report every sighting. We need to unite over our hatred for this pest for our common love: Pennsylvania.”
The Department of Agriculture says the new dozen counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county out of an abundance of caution.
The added counties include Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, and York.
“Most of these municipalities have already been aggressively treated,” said Dr. Ruth Welliver, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry. “With continued aggressive treatment and monitoring, and an actively engaged community, we can strike Spotted Lanternfly from these counties.”
Quick, aggressive treatment to newly identified populations of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania was funded through the Rapid Response Disaster Readiness line of Governor Wolf’s 2019 PA Farm Bill.
The 2020 PA Farm Bill proposes another $3 million to combat Spotted Lanternfly, plus an extra $1 million that is uncommitted to readily act in the event of the next agricultural disaster.
Businesses that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a Spotted Lanternfly permit; fines associated with noncompliance can be up to $300 for a criminal citation or up to $20,000 for a civil penalty.
Homeowners with questions about treatment are encouraged to contact a Penn State Extension office or learn about management, including approved sprays, online.
Pennsylvanians who live inside the quarantine zone should also review and sign the Compliance Checklist for residents.
For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.