PA Dept. Of Agriculture Urges Public To Combat Spotted Lanternfly Threat

Spotted Lantern Flys are an invasive species disrupting Pennsylvania’s ecosystems. In response to this growing threat, the PA Department of Agriculture, in tandem with supporting organizations, has armed Pennsylvanians with the knowledge to exterminate these pests.

According to an official release, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined Penn State Extension Area Master Gardener Coordinator Valerie Sesler, Washington County Conservation District Manager Matthew Golden, and other state and local leaders yesterday. The group discussed the threat spotted lanternflies pose and shared information and resources to help Pennsylvanians limit the spread of the detrimental, invasive insect.

“Research, public-private partnerships, and boots-on-the-ground efforts have allowed us to learn more about this pest and develop best management practices to help farmers, transporters, homeowners, and communities combat spotted lanternflies. What we’ve learned is strengthening how we respond as the pest continues to move,” said Secretary Redding. “Everyone has a role to play, especially as Pennsylvanians travel for vacations. We ask you to remain vigilant and continue to look before you leave.”

Those who find spotted lanternflies on their property can reduce the population and its impact by trapping and squishing them. Penn State Extension’s website includes instructions for making your own circle trap using easily obtainable items, including plastic milk jugs, duct tape, screen wire, twine, hot glue, and gallon-sized food-storage bags. Traps can also be purchased through agriculture and nursery supply stores.

Research funded by the state, the US Department of Agriculture, and private industry has advanced Pennsylvania’s understanding of the spotted lanternfly and how to safely control it in our climate and habitat. To learn how to recognize the insect and its eggs, how to separate common myths from facts, and how to safely control it on your property, visit Penn State Extension’s website, or contact your local PSU Extension office. In March, the state’s quarantine to control the insect expanded to 45 counties. The quarantine prohibits the movement of any spotted lanternfly life stage, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults, and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect.

For more information on spotted lanternflies, visit here.

Help spread the word to stop the spread with the recently released 2022 Spotted Lanternfly Social Media Toolkit.