PA Department Of Agriculture Adds Centre County To Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has announced that 11 counties were added to the state’s quarantine zone ahead of the spotted lanternfly’s spring hatch.
Centre County is one of the 11 new counties in the quarantine zone, along with Adams, Armstrong, Bedford, Fulton, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Snyder, Union, and Washington counties. The move brings the total to 45 Pennsylvania counties quarantined against the invasive species insects.
“Spotted lanternflies threaten outdoor businesses and quality of life, as well as grapes and other valuable crops Pennsylvania’s economy, depends on,” Redding said in a release. “It’s up to every Pennsylvanian to be on the lookout for these bad bugs. Walk your yard, gardens, or land before spring hatch and scrape egg masses. Kill every bug. Check your vehicles before traveling to ensure you’re not transporting them to a new area for new opportunities to devastate crops and outdoor quality of life.”
Currently, known spotted lanternfly infestations are not widespread in any of the newly quarantined counties but in scattered municipalities throughout the state.
The quarantine guidelines aim to restrict the movement of spotted lanternflies in any living stage in order to regulate their movement. Businesses in the quarantined counties must obtain a spotted lanternfly permit. The permits aim to educate business travelers to recognize spotted lanternflies and know how to prevent them from being transported to a new area.
Spotted lanternflies, an invasive planthopper species, have posed a serious threat to the northeastern United States ever since it was discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. On top of causing serious damage to trees, these bugs excrete a sugary substance called honeydew that can coat surfaces and promote the growth of black sooty mold.
Although the mold is harmless to humans, it can devastate plant life. As such, the spotted lanternfly could harm Pennsylvania’s ecosystems and agrarian economy.
More information about the spotted lanternflies can be found on the Agriculture Department’s website.
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