State Department of Agriculture expands surveillance of Spotted Lanternfly

HARRISBURG, PA --  Officals with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture are urging people to be on the look out for any signs of the spotted lanternfly in Berks County.

This invasive species, also known as Lycorma delicatula, first appeared in Berks County in the fall of 2014 and 100,000 have been terminated since.  Although there are no known impacts to human health, it could severely impact the state’s grape, fruit tree and hardwood industries. These industries produce approximately $20.5 million, $134 million, and $24 million respectively.

The spotted laternfly is already an invasive pest in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that grow in Pennsylvania as well.

Quarantines have been put in place around the boroughs of Bally and Bechtelsville and the townships of District, Earl, Hereford, Pike, Rockland and Washington in Berks County. Lehigh and Montgomery counties are less than one mile from these areas of Berks County so keeping these insects from spreading is crucial.

State Department of Agriculture officials are encouraging all residents to watch for the Spotted Lanternfly and provided the following tips if found:

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 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 bedbug@pa.gov

If you report a site: Call the Bad bug hotline at 1-866-253-7189 with details of the siting and your contact information.

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