Harrisburg, Pa. (WTXF) - The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has announced that that nine municipalities in Southeastern Pennsylvania have been added to the list of areas quarantined due to the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.
In Berks County, Muhlenberg Township and Laureldale Borough were added to the quarantine area. In Bucks County, sightings of the invasive insect were confirmed in Springfield, East Rockhill and West Rockhill townships, as well as Perkasie, Sellersville and Telford boroughs.
The addition of Telford Borough, in Montgomery County, brought the total number of affected municipalities to 84. The quarantine restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest.
"This is our third season of combatting the Spotted Lanternfly, and despite extensive work that has helped slow the spread of this potentially devastating invasive pest, the addition of these new municipalities illustrates just how challenging a task that is," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
"Our goal remains to eliminate this pest from Pennsylvania and see to it that it does not spread elsewhere. But to do that, we need the public to help us by watching out for these pests, reporting new infestations, and ensuring that they don't hitch a ride when you travel."
The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest that is native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. It is an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania. The pest had not been found in the United States prior to its initial detection in Berks County in the fall of 2014.
Redding encouraged residents inside the quarantine zone to report any yet-unreported locations of Spotted Lanternfly infestations to the department.
The general quarantine of these infested areas restricts movement of any material or object that could spread the pest. This includes firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, boxes or other packing materials, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household articles like lawnmowers, grills, tarps and other equipment, as well as trucks and vehicles not typically stored indoors.
The quarantine now covers:
Visit agriculture.pa.gov to access the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine checklist, view the quarantine map, or contact a local municipality or extension office. The checklist provides guidelines for inspecting vehicles and other items stored outdoors each time they are moved out of the quarantine area.
Photos of adults or egg masses found outside of the quarantined areas can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a site, call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 and provide details of the sighting and your contact information.