Delaware expands quarantine to fight invasive bug

Spotted lanternfly ( USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. )

State agriculture officials are expanding a quarantine in northern Delaware in an effort to combat the spread of the invasive spotted lanternfly.

The quarantine now includes all of New Castle County north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture is urging the public to kill on sight and report the bug to the agency.

The invasive pest feeds on more than 70 plant species, including maples, apple trees and hops. Adults resemble colorful moths and are active from July to December.

Under the quarantine, businesses must have permits to move regulated articles within or from the area. Regulated items include plants, lumber and construction materials.

The general public is urged to follow a compliance checklist.

In Delaware, the insect was first spotted in 2017 in Wilmington.