Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said the discovery of the Spotted Lanternfly in 25 more municipalities in southeastern Pennsylvania is cause for vigilance, not alarm.
Citizen reports of the pest allowed the department to expand the quarantine, said Redding.
"If they had simply ignored what they found, that would have allowed the pest to spread, potentially reaching more areas and creating a larger problem," Redding said. "If we're going to be successful in eradicating this pest, it's going to take a collaborative effort."
The guarantied municipalities, by county, are:
- Berks County: Alsace, Amity, Centre, Colebrookdale, Douglass, District, Earl, Exeter, Hereford, Longswamp, Maiden Creek Maxatawny, Oley, Pike, Richmond, Robeson, Rockland, Ruscombmanor, Union and Washington townships, and the boroughs of Bally, Bechtelsville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centreport, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Lyons, St. Lawrence and Topton
- Bucks County: Milford and Richland townships and Richlandtown, Quakertown and Trumbauersville boroughs
- Chester County: East Vincent, East Coventry, North Coventry and South Coventry townships and Spring City
- Lehigh County: Upper Saucon, Lower Macungie, Upper Milford, Lower Milford, Whitehall, and South Whitehall townships; the boroughs of Alburtis, Emmaus, and Macungie; and the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem
- Montgomery County: Douglass, Marlborough, New Hanover, Upper Hanover, Upper Providence and West Pottsgrove townships, and the boroughs of East Greenville, Pennsburg, Pottstown, Red Hill and Royersford
- Northampton County: Bethlehem City
The quarantine of the infested areas restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest. This includes, but is not limited to, firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, packing material-like boxes, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household items such as lawnmowers, grills, tarps and other equipment as well as trucks and vehicles not typically stored indoors.
The Spotted Lanternfly is an inch-long, black, red and white spotted pest and is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam. The species is invasive in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania.
Prior to its discovery in Berks County in the fall of 2014, it was not found in the United States.
Adult female Lanternflies lay egg masses on any flat surface, including outdoor furniture, equipment, stone and block and vehicles in autumn, said officials.
If you go camping or hiking, Redding advised to check your equipment before and after you leave the woods to make sure you do not have an egg mass on your equipment.
Each egg mass contains 35 to 50 young Spotted Lanternflies. If you see an egg mass, scrape it off, double bag it and throw it in the garbage, or place the eggs in hand sanitizer or alcohol to kill them.
If you are in a quarantine zone and see one of the pests, Redding stressed that you should kill it as there is no need to report it.
If you live outside the quarantine zone and see a Spotted Lanternfly, place it in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak proof container and submit the sample to your county Penn State Extension office or to the department's entomology lab for verification.
It is stressed that you do not move live pests as there are places in the quarantine area that do not have active populations of the Spotted Lanternfly.
For further information and to access the "Spotted Lanternfly Checklist" click here.
If you live outside the quarantine zone and see a pest, photos of Spotted Lanternflies can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 to report details of the sighting and your contact information.