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The PA Department of Agriculture asked Allegheny County Health Department to pass the below information along to you regarding the Spotted Lanternfly. This invasive pest was recently found in Allegheny County therefore we have been placed in the quarantine zone to help slow the spread. The quarantine affects vehicles and other conveyances, plant, wood, stone products and outdoor household items. Information about a free SLF permit for businesses in the quarantine zone is below.
SLF is a serious invasive pest with a healthy appetite for our plants and it can be a significant nuisance, affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors. If not contained, it potentially could drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually, according to a study carried out by economists at Penn State. The spotted lanternfly uses its piercing-sucking mouthpart to feed on sap from over 70 different plant species. It has a strong preference for economically important plants including grapevines, maple trees, black walnut, birch, willow, and other trees. The feeding damage significantly stresses the plants which can lead to decreased health and potentially death.
Click here for a resident check list for your property to check for spotted lantern fly.
The spotted lanternfly has started to hatch in Pennsylvania, and state leaders are asking for your help to stop the spread.
Twenty-six Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Beaver, are under quarantine for the invasive species, which has been known to damage fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees.
“Let’s use this time at home to make a positive impact on spotted lanternfly this season; scrape and destroy any remaining egg masses you find and band your trees now,” Agriculture Secretary Redding said. “We need every Pennsylvanian to keep their eyes peeled for this bad bug, we can’t let our guard down.”
Spotted lanternflies generally start hatching in mid to late April in southern Pennsylvania, with the northern counties lagging behind.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, these bugs are known to swarm in the air, cover trees and coat decks and play equipment with their excrement.
The best way to remove eggs from a tree is to scrape them off using a putty knife or credit card, the department of agriculture said. Penn State Extension has a helpful tutorial on how to destroy egg masses.
During the nymph stage, tree banding is the most effective method to capture and kill spotted lanternfly. It’s a nontoxic, inexpensive technique that can be used on any tree.
If you scrape an egg mass or squash a spotted lanternfly you are asked to report your sighting online or via phone by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY. For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.
WPXI news report