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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Pennsylvania and Surrounding States Have a New Hurdle For Truckers


The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam.  It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth.  This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops, and hardwoods.  It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

Penn State University and Extension, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) have joined forces to control and contain the spread of SLF.  Penn State University is leading the research efforts currently underway to answer the many questions we have about the insect’s biology, pesticide studies, and the ability of the insect to adapt to the environment in Pennsylvania.   USDA and PDA are actively treating locations where SLF has been reported.  USDA is treating on the outer edges where the populations are small and will begin to move inward towards the centre of the quarantine.  PDA is treating areas where the population numbers are high and is targeting high risk pathways which may contribute to moving the insect to other locations.  As funding is available, both USDA and PDA will work on properties for treatment.  PDA is also surveying all counties in the state outside the quarantine looking for SLF.

Spotted Lanternfly can be controlled with a combination of physical removal of life stages and, as well as pesticide applications.

Use of these management techniques are important to assist PDA and USDA in control of the spread of this invasive pest.

Businesses also play an important role.  Business owners should incorporate pest management into their vegetation management plans and work to minimize the possibility of this insect hitching a ride on products they produce and ship.  

Businesses who ship products within and out of the quarantine zone are required to have or hire companies who have a spotted Lanternfly Permit. 

Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, require permits for motor carriers that pick up or deliver a load in the quarantine zone.  Truckers who don’t comply with a quarantine effort to restrict the spread of an invasive insect in Pennsylvania and nearby states can face fines of up to $20,000.

The permit program is free, but failure to comply could cost an offender. Fred Strathmeyer, deputy secretary of Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Department, says the state would prefer not to issue fines at all.

Strathmeyer says the quarantine appears to be containing the insect, which was first sited in the U.S. in 2014. He says the time for truckers to be extra vigilant is July and August, when the fly enters the adult stage of its lifecycle.

More information available at:  https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/PlantIndustry/Entomology/spotted_lanternfly/Pages/default.aspx