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WASHINGTON – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the spotted lanternfly is a threat to many fruit crops and trees in the United States.
Here’s what people and businesses can do if the spotted lanternfly is spotted:
When preparing for the winter holidays, check outdoor items for spotted lanternfly egg masses, including those items you may bring indoors. Scrape any egg masses into a plastic zippered bag filled with hand sanitizer, then zip the bag shut and dispose of it properly.
Inspect your trees and plants for signs of this pest, particularly at dusk and at night when the insects tend to gather in large groups on the trunks or stems of plants.
If your business operates in or near an infested area, or if you receive shipments from an infested area:
Check Your Vehicle: Before leaving a parking lot or work site, inspect vehicles for spotted lanternfly egg or insects. Check doors, sides, bumpers, wheel wells, grills, and roofs. If found, destroy any eggs or insects you find.
Inspect Items Being Moved: Check shipping containers, propane tanks, pallets and other items being stored outdoors before they are moved off-site. Inspect incoming goods for egg masses and insects.
Park with Windows Closed: The spotted lanternfly and its nymphs can enter vehicles unsuspectedly. When parked, make sure to keep windows closed. If possible, try to park 15 feet away from trees if in a quarantine zone.
Remove and Destroy Pests: Crush nymphs and adult insects. Scrape egg masses into a plastic bag containing hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to kill them. Treatment information can be found through PennState Extension or your local cooperative extension service
Remove Host Trees: Spotted lanternflies prefer the ailanthus tree, also known as “Tree of Heaven.” Try to remove trees from the business property to avoid attracting spotted lanternfly.
Report Sightings: In Pennsylvania, contact the Penn State Extension program. Outside Pennsylvania, contact your state agricultural department to report sightings outside of quarantined zones. If possible, take a picture or capture the insect in alcohol.
Comply with Permitting: Businesses operating in quarantine zones must have permits to move equipment and goods.
Contact your local State Department of Agriculture for more information about permits.