Friday, November 21, 2014

More Berks County Townships, Communities Quarantined Because Of Spotted Lanternfly

More Berks County townships and communities are quarantined in the fight to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect new to the United States that was found in the area earlier this fall.
The additional quarantine covers Hereford, Rockland and Washington townships and the boroughs of Bally and Bechtelsville. District and Pike townships are already quarantined.
“Since Pennsylvania is the first known home to Spotted Lanternfly in North America, we’re taking every possible precaution to stop its spread and eliminate this threat to agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “Help us by looking for adult insects and their egg clusters on your trees, cars, outside furniture – any flat surface that the eggs may be attached to. We know we’re asking a lot, but we know Pennsylvanians will assist us and help save our fruit trees, grapes and forests.”
The Spotted Lanternfly, an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest, is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam. It’s an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species which also grow in Pennsylvania.
The general quarantine restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest. This includes firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, packing material like boxes, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household articles like lawnmowers, grills, tarps and any other equipment, trucks or vehicles not stored indoors.
Businesses in the general quarantine area need to obtain a Certificate of Limited Permit from the department in order to move articles. Criminal and civil penalties of up to $20,000 and prison time can be imposed for violations by businesses or individuals.
Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, attacks grapes, apples, pines and stone fruits. It often attaches to the bark of Tree of Heaven – sometimes referred to as Paradise Tree – an invasive species similar to Sumac that can be found around parking lots or along tree lines. Adults often cluster in groups and lay egg masses containing 30-50 eggs that adhere to flat surfaces including tree bark.
Freshly laid egg masses have a grey waxy mudlike coating, while hatched eggs appear as brownish seed-like deposits in four to seven columns about an inch long. Trees attacked by the Spotted Lanternfly will show a grey or black trail of sap down the trunk.  
The department is investigating the quarantined and surrounding areas to assess the spread and impact of the pest. Additional townships may be added to the quarantine.
Grieg encourages all Pennsylvanians to watch for the Spotted Lanternfly and offered the following suggestions:
— If you see eggs: Scrape them off the tree or smooth surface, double bag them and throw them in the garbage, or place the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.
— If you collect a specimen: Turn the adult specimen or egg mass in to the department’s Entomology Lab for verification. First, place the sample in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak proof container.
— If you take a photo: Submit photo of adults or egg masses to
— If you report a site: Call the Bad Bug hotline at 1-866-253-7189 with details of the siting and your contact information.   
Greig added that while Pennsylvanians can submit suspect eggs to the department headquarters in Harrisburg or to its six regional office locations, county Penn State Extension offices are often a closer, quicker option.
For more information, visit Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly webpage.

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