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PA expands spotted lanternfly quarantine
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 04/02/2024

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has expanded the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone to encompass the state's southwesternmost county. This brings the total number of quarantined counties to 52 out of 67 in Pennsylvania. Notably, counties bordering New York remain exempt now.

The quarantine serves as a crucial measure to impede the spread of this invasive insect, known to pose a significant threat to agricultural and ornamental crops. Businesses operating within or across these designated quarantine zones are required to obtain permits to verify their ability to identify and prevent the transportation of spotted lanternflies.

This proactive approach is evidenced by the issuance of over 32,000 permits across North America, reflecting a growing awareness of the issue.

The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Pennsylvania's Berks County in 2014. While collaborative efforts amongst states and industry stakeholders have yielded progress in slowing its spread, the insect's propensity to hitch rides on vehicles continues to pose a challenge. Adult lanternflies perish after laying egg masses in the winter.

These egg masses, typically resembling putty-colored bumps, can be found on various outdoor surfaces and harbor up to 50 eggs each, surprisingly resilient even in sub-zero temperatures. Fortunately, eradication of these egg masses is a relatively simple process, requiring only scraping or smashing them.

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