Several Pennsylvania Counties Under Quarantine As Spotted Lanternflies Cause Severe Damage

Lanternflies cause severe damage in several Pennsylvania counties, with the infestation, many of them go under quarantine.

The lanternfly is capable of causing damage on an extreme scale. According to Pennsylvania Department Of Agriculture (PDA) Including damage to vines, crops, and other various plants and trees. Trees wilt, sap ooze, leaves curl and dieback, and wither on trees. Spotted lanternflies also excrete a sugary material known as honeydew which is detrimental to plants because it induces the growth of black mold. While honeydew may be harmless to humans, it is not welcoming towards any vegetal lifeforms. Outdoor enthusiasts report lanternflies affecting their quality of life; when it comes to enjoying nature, air quality, and outdoor activities. Lanternflies swarm in the air, covering trees and even coating decks and play equipment with their honeydew. The Asian Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species that has called the Poconos home since 2014. It has since infested nearly all of Pennsylvania, including the quarantined Monroe County.

As stated by a PDA report, the spotted lanternfly devastated many other industries such as lumber, grape vineyards used for wine, plant nurseries, and timber and fruit tree farms. Spotted lanternfly infestations affect these billion-dollar industries. A 2019 PDA economic impact study estimates that uncontrolled, this insect could cost the state $324 million annually and more than 2,800 jobs.

According to the (PDA), the spotted lanternfly can lay between 30 and 50 eggs and is highly invasive. They move from one county to the next like a swarm of locusts. The spotted lanternfly should be taken seriously and killed, squashed, or destroyed on sight. If you live in a quarantined zone such as Monroe County and various others, you should inspect your clothes, car, children, body, and hair. Anything this creature can latch on to is a one-way ticket to a new un-encroached location.

In March 2022, according to a PDA census, the following counties of Adams, Armstrong, Bedford, Centre, Fulton, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Snyder, Union, and Washington are the most recent to be placed under special quarantine status. When the PDA discovers sufficient evidence of reproducing lanternflies, such as an egg mass, counties become labeled under special quarantine.

According to the PDA, this is how to identify the spotted lanternfly. The adult lanternfly is approximately 1″ long and 1/2″ wide. The forewing is grey with black spots, and the wingtips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots and develop red patches as they grow.
Photo provided by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

If you or anyone find any Spotted Lanternfly, please notify your local or state government here or call 1-888-4BADFLY.

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