12 counties added to quarantine zone
Spring is around the corner and with it will come the return of Spotted Lanternfly season.
This invasive plant hopper species hails from China, India and Vietnam, but has since found its way to the US and has rapidly spread throughout southeast Pennsylvania with the potential to infest agricultural crops and create a lot of issues for residents.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) are actively studying and treating locations where Spotted Lanternflies have been reported. One method of prevention is to minimize the ability for this pest to travel to new locations.
Spotted Lanternflies can potentially hitch a ride on products and vehicles, thus moving into a new area and spreading the infestation. So, businesses who ship products inside and out of quarantined zones are required to have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. These permits demonstrate the businesses have working knowledge of this pest and the best practices to prohibit its spread.
“Look Before You Leave” Best Practices for Containing Spotted Lanternflies
When driving in and out of quarantined areas, drivers should inspect vehicles before moving. Other tips for avoiding unintentional spread of this insect include these strategies:
- don’t park in or under tree lines
- keep windows rolled up
- know the life stages of the spotted lanternfly
- know the spotted lanternfly season and when to look for these insects
- report sightings of the spotted lanternfly
Know the quarantine zones
To stop the movement and spread of spotted lanternflies, quarantines are in effect. A quarantine means certain articles cannot be moved out of the area. Industries located or operating inside the quarantine zone will need a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.
Currently the following counties are under quarantine in Pennsylvania:
There are also quarantine counties or zones in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.
Quarantine counties have restricted movement of certain articles. The PA Department of Agriculture lists these prohibited items:
- any living stage of the Spotted Lanternfly—Lycorma delicatula—including egg masses, nymphs, and adults
- brush, debris, bark, or yard waste
- landscaping, remodeling or construction waste
- logs, stumps, or any tree parts
- firewood of any species
- grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock
- nursery stock
- crated materials
- outdoor household articles such as: recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, any associated equipment and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors
Spotted Lanternfly Permitting changes and requirements
A Spotted Lanternfly Permit is required for all businesses, agencies, and organizations located or working in the quarantine areas. Also, a Spotted Lanternfly Permit is needed for businesses moving vehicles, products, or other transports in or out of the quarantine zone.
Shane Phillips, Compliance and Enforcement Specialist with the PDA, spoke at the CNS 2020 2nd Annual Compliance Conference about this year’s changes in Spotted Lanternfly permitting.
Since April 2019, the Spotted Lanternfly Permit style has changed. Currently, only one paper permit is issued to each company. Each company can now make as many copies as needed to issue to their drivers.
Note: Previously issued hang tags and decals are still valid.
Permits are free, but require online training to obtain. Managers and/or supervisors who demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of this insect and the quarantine requirements may obtain a permit.
Find the course and exam for permitting at the Penn State Extension Website.
More efforts to reduce the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly
This year, the PDA Compliance and Enforcement Team is offering compliance assistance to help companies become spotted lanternfly compliant and get permitted.
The PDA has partnered with the PA State Police as part of “Operation Spotted Lanternfly” to do roadside inspections. After the State Police do their DOT inspections, the PDA team will interview the driver, inspect their permits and related logs, and do a vehicle inspection.
Roadside inspections have proven to be effective, and the PDA Compliance and Enforcement Team expects to increase the number of inspections this coming Spotted Lanternfly season.
How Can CNS help?
CNS is trained on the Spotted Lanternfly Permit requirements from the PA Department of Agriculture. We offer training for your drivers to identify and help contain and eventually stop the spread of this insect.
The CNS course is a 35-45 min training. Please note a supervisor from your company will still be required to take the permitting course from the Penn State Extension Website.