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PA Agriculture Dept. Continues Battle Against Spotted Lanternfly

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PA Agriculture Department Continues Battle Against Spotted Lanternfly

16205_PDA_Lantern_Fly_ML_00011.jpgHARRISBURG, Pa. – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and others on Tuesday visited a Harrisburg site populated with Spotted Lanternflies to view the treatment being conducted across the Commonwealth.

“Although Pennsylvania had the unlucky fate of being the first state in the nation to be visited by the Spotted Lanternfly, we faced that challenge head-on and have made incredible strides in containment and control,” said Gov. Wolf. “This is a team effort and all hands are on deck, committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s agricultural products, preserving our quality of life, and keeping commerce flowing here in the commonwealth.”

Under the governor’s PA Farm Bill – a package of legislation designed to expand and protect agriculture infrastructure – the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account will provide $3 million toward the containment of the Spotted Lanternfly. This is the second year in a row the governor has allocated funding in the state budget to increase spotted lanternfly detection, control, and eradication efforts. Over the past few years, the administration has allocated more than $10 million to protect Pennsylvania business and agriculture. Additionally, USDA recently dedicated more than $6.2 million in new funding to Pennsylvania’s efforts.

This May, PDA introduced the Spotted Lanternfly permit system to train businesses and employees on recognizing the life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly. Since then, the department has issued more than 900,000 permits to businesses that travel in and out of the quarantine area. Additionally, PDA and USDA teams continue to assess and treat high-risk properties, with survey teams scouting for insects across the state after receiving reports of sightings outside of the quarantine area. Penn State has taken the lead on conducting outreach and research.

“Pennsylvania’s progress in controlling the Spotted Lanternfly is due in part to the historic partnership we’ve made with USDA and Penn State and the critical funding we received through the state and federal budgets,” said Sec. Redding. “However, it’s important that Pennsylvanians remember that they play a significant role in this fight. They can treat their property with approved sprays, band their trees, or even use something as simple as a fly swatter to help control populations right in their own backyard.”

Businesses can obtain a Spotted Lanternfly permit at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-permit-training. Homeowners with questions about treatment, including approved sprays, can learn more through Penn State Extension at http://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly, visit https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.                                                                                                                                                                                https://www.explorejeffersonpa.com/pa-agriculture-department-continues-battle-against-spotted-lanternfly/#more-235993

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All Penn State College of Agriculture employees are being asked to go out and inspect for Spotted Lanternfly on a specific schedule in August.  Around here, unless you know where there is Tree of Heaven, like a bigger version of Sumac, it's pretty hard.  So far, nothing has been found here in Clearfield or Jefferson County.  It's only a matter of time however till the insects are carried out of the quarantine zone by vehicles and come west to our area.  Truckers are required to inspect every time they go through that area before they leave it.

They're not just a danger to the lumber industry, but they can make a deck, patio or driveway pretty unusable.  Their sticky droppings are almost impossible to remove, and can be a solid mass under trees.  They are very hard to kill, and their eggs masses must be scraped off of trees in order to stop them from hatching.  Hunters and hikers are asked to keep an eye out in the fall when they are out in the woods.

Tree of Heaven is their favored food source, and it's found in State College and Altoona.  Do we have it here?  It has been sold as a landscape tree, so someone may actually have it in their yard.  If so, we would like to be able to check it occasionally for the presence of these plant hoppers.  They are very difficult to catch, but if you do find one, we need to see it immediately.

Call 849-7361 or e-mail JeffersonMG@psu.edu for assistance.

Tree of Heaven photos:  

https://www.google.com/search?q=tree+of+heaven+pictures&rlz=1C1EJFC_enUS846US846&oq=Tree+of+Heaven&aqs=chrome.4.0l6.7792j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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Spotted lanternfly continues to concern state officials


 
Spotted Lanternfly (WJAC)

The state secretary of agriculture said the department has spent billions of dollars trying to prevent crop devastation by the spotted lanternfly.

Agriculture experts said the insect can eat its way through a wide range of crops.

They said the spotted lanternfly hops from crop to crop easily and can latch onto vehicles and cargo.

Some of the control measures have included putting the southeastern part of the state under quarantine.

But researchers are now looking at ways to find or develop a biological prevention measure to stop the population growth of the spotted lanternfly.

For the moment, the state Department of Agriculture has set up a separate spotted lanternfly hotline to help track the insect's travels.

The insect has also damaged crops in neighboring states, including New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.    SEE VIDEO REPORT    ;    https://wjactv.com/news/local/spotted-lanternfly-continues-to-concern-state-officials

 

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I did find a group of Tree of Heaven in Clearfield and inspected it but there was no sign of the Spotted Lanternfly.  

Tree of Heaven is a favorite for this plant hopper.  Being right along the main road, it should be a good spot to inspect on a regular basis. If you know where some Tree of Heaven exist, be sure to let your county extension know also.  There are regular inspection times that someone will check them.

Tree of Heaven looks a lot like Sumac but will not have the typical yellow male head or the red spike on top.  It's fruiting body is a plume of seeds hanging down, and will remain there through the winter.  The leaf is longer than Sumac with more leaflets per side.  Sumac will have about ten on each side of the long leaf, while Tree of Heaven will have 20 or more.  The trunk gets very large like a typical tree and the bark looks like dark gray cantalope skin.  When you break off a leaf, it will leave a heart shaped break in the bark.  The entire grove smelled like Peanut Butter to me.

 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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The spotted lanternfly feeds on over 65 different crops including grapes, apples, peaches and yes, our native staghorn sumac. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) does exist around here but is an ornamental import from Asia that has gone native and is not as prevalent as it is in some other areas. They stink! Literally, I grew up with one outside my bedroom window. I don't think that we have to worry about them breeding on Tree of Heaven as much as we have to worry about them munching on cash crops. They will devastate the wine industry and aren't going to be good for the timber industry as they also feed on walnuts and some other hardwood trees. 

The big problem is that they lay eggs just about anywhere. They will hitch a ride on vehicles and anything that is transported that has been outside. They found egg masses not too long ago at a Penn State football game that had come in on a vehicle. It was an isolated incident and so far we are safe. 

 

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Tree of Heaven is the tree they will go to first as it is part of their native Asia, and is also why it is being used as a search tool. Both were imported here.

The insects will also spread to many different kinds of trees and crops which are not native to them.  Thus far they are only found in the SE part of Pennsylvania and some surrounding states abutting Pennsylvania,  but anyone driving through that area to other parts of the growing areas around there, including other states, are being asked to check their vehicles and cargo for hitchhiking Spotted Lanternfly.  All trucks are subject to being stopped and searched after going through the quarantined area. If they want to travel freely, then they must complete the state training which will allow them a sticker for their truck so they are less likely to be stopped.  However, how many will really check thoroughly.  Penn State employees are also required to complete the training.

Hunters and hikers are being asked to check trees as they travel through the woods this fall, and to destroy/report any egg masses that they would find.  These will be particularly prevalent alongside major highways.

In Jefferson County we are asking people to report the presence of the Tree of Heaven so we can use it as a first place to check on a regular basis.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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Agriculture Department Invites Pennsylvania Students to Help Fight Spotted Lanternfly

adult-spotted-lanternfly-side-view.jpgHARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on Tuesday invited first- through eighth-grade students to help spread the message about the threat of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly by entering the 2019 calendar contest.

(PICTURED: Spotted Lanternfly adult. Photo courtesy Dalton Ludwick.)

“When children talk, people listen,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Last year, more than 800 kids helped us tell the story of what this insect is, how it hurts us, and what you can do to help keep it from spreading. Pennsylvania kids are great storytellers, and we need their help again.”

The 2018 Spotted Lanternfly Calendar Contest generated more than 800 entries from students across the state. Participating students learn in their classrooms about the threat posed by this invasive insect. Their messages and illustrations help Pennsylvanians identify Spotted Lanternflies, and encourage discussion among their families and neighbors about how they can join in the fight to stop its spread.

The contest is open to all first- through eighth-grade Pennsylvania students, and entries must include:

  • One fact about Spotted Lanternfly;
  • Artwork created by the student;
  • 11” X 17” poster, horizontally oriented;
  • Original artwork, no copies will be accepted; and
  • A complete contest submission form attached or emailed with the poster.

The competition will run through October 31, 2019. Entries will be judged in four divisions: first and second grade; third and fourth grade; fifth and sixth grade; seventh and eighth grade. The top three winning entries per grade will be featured in a calendar, and the grand prize winner will appear on the cover.

The winners will receive a prize package and will be recognized during the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Contestants can enter by sending their artwork to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Communications Office, Room 210, 2301 N. Cameron Street Harrisburg, PA 17110 or email entries to ra-agslfcalendars@pa.gov. All submissions must be postmarked or emailed by October 31, 2019.

For more information about Spotted Lanternfly, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.

Click here for a complete list of rules.                                                                                                                                            https://www.explorejeffersonpa.com/agriculture-department-invites-pennsylvania-students-to-help-fight-spotted-lanternfly/

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Doesn't it seem that every year there's a new threat, I hate it. One of my best friend's son is an entomologist, the bug world is creepy to say the least.


 

"If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler."

 

-- Jack Lambert --

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Yes, more than one a year.  Every time something new invades, we have to learn about it and be prepared to answer questions about it.  One thing this year was a batch of Rhododendrons that was sold with a virus, and sure enough, some cropped up right here in our area.  I think I had gotten the info about two days ahead of the infection.  

Our climate is damper, yet colder and warmer, which allows a lot of fungus to spread.  Another thing is imported insects that come in on crops and containers.  Not every one can be caught before entry, and if two, or a mated female gets loose, and likes it here, then we got a problem Lucy!

I'm really impressed with the speed and accuracy of how the Agriculture departments have stepped up to deal with these things.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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'Gross': Lanternflies causing big bug problem for some

The spotted lanternfly will fly in your face, land on your shirt and crawl on the back of your neck - and the state says the bugs threaten $18 billion worth of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

'Gross': Lanternflies causing big bug problem for some

The spotted lanternfly will fly in your face, land on your shirt and crawl on the back of your neck - and the state says the bugs threaten $18 billion worth of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

 
 
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In the Great Spotted Lanternfly War, Pennsylvania's citizen-soldiers are fighting back with fly swatters and vacuums, dish soap and sticky tape. They're stomping and spraying and zapping and bragging about their kills on social media. "DESTROY THEM," a propaganda poster urges. "Die, die, die, spotted lanternfly," a balladeer sings.

And still the invaders come, hordes of them, relentless and seemingly inexhaustible. The lanternflies' rampage has been slowed but not stoppe

Swarms of lanternflies in Pa.: See them in the video player above.

The insect -- a large, colorful planthopper native to southeast Asia -- has emerged as a serious pest since the federal government confirmed its arrival in southeastern Pennsylvania five years ago. It sucks the sap from valuable trees and vines, weakening them. It rains its clear, sticky, sugary waste -- euphemistically called "honeydew" -- onto pools and decks, driving exasperated homeowners indoors when they're not too busy killing the fluttering buggers.

Lanternflies aren't shy, either. They will fly in your face, land on your shirt and crawl on the back of your neck.

More worrisome, the state agriculture department says the lanternflies threaten $18 billion worth of Pennsylvania agriculture, including tree fruit, timber, hops and especially grapes. And the bug has expanded its range into New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia, alarming officials in those states and beyond as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is involved in containment and suppression efforts.

 
 
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Though researchers are looking for ways to eradicate the red-winged interloper, "controlling them on a population level is almost impossible at this point," said Heather Leach, an entomologist who does lanternfly outreach at Penn State Extension.

Lori Beatrice can relate. Battalions of bugs have been swarming her back deck in Phoenixville, about 30 miles from Philadelphia. She and her husband have killed thousands, but "we're outnumbered," Beatrice said. "It's just gross. It's disgusting. It's like waking up in a nightmare."

The yearslong infestation poses an existential threat to grapes that supply Pennsylvania's $4.8 billion wine industry.

Dean Scott, who grows grapes for local wineries around Kutztown, has been spraying insecticide on his vines in an effort to keep the bugs at bay. It works for a few days, but they inevitably return. The carnage is evident in the blackened trunks of diseased grapes vines, and in the thousands of dead insects that litter the vineyard. One of Scott's fellow growers left the business after losing 40 acres of vines.

"It's depressing," said Scott, whose vineyard produces 12 tons to 15 tons of grapes each year, and who is counting on it to help support him in retirement. "My fear is that if this continues, we're going to lose the battle here in Pennsylvania."

 
 
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Scientists from Penn State University, Cornell University and elsewhere are trying to prevent that from happening. They're testing chemical and biological methods of control, including native fungi implicated in a lanternfly die-off in Berks County. Government contractors, meanwhile, are removing tree of heaven -- an invasive tree that is the lanternflies' preferred host -- from public property. The states with the heaviest infestations have established quarantines meant to limit the bugs' spread.

And now, with females beginning to lay their eggs, Pennsylvania is encouraging its citizen militia to scrape the mud-like egg masses from trees, cars, lawn furniture, outdoor equipment and other surfaces.

"We're heading into the season where everyday people can have the greatest impact on what happens next year," said Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Shannon Powers. "Every egg mass you scrape gets rid of 30 to 60 insects that might hatch out next season."

In some quarters, the situation has become darkly comic.

Philadelphia police asked residents to stop calling 911 to report lanternfly sightings, tweeting that while the insects are a nuisance, they're not, strictly speaking, a matter for law enforcement. "And on that note, we, for one, would like to welcome our new insect overlords," the department quipped.

The public address announcer for Allentown's minor-league baseball team is working on a mock movie trailer in the old-timey style of Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War," casting himself as a sepia-toned Army commander and the lanternflies as combatants. Another fake preview reimagines the insect invasion as a flesh-crawling horror film , its tagline: "How many did you kill today?" Someone else developed a gross-out app called "Squish" on which users track and map their lanternfly kills and post photos of the crumpled carcasses.

 
 
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If most Pennsylvanians in the Great Spotted Lanternfly War are regular Army, Jim Wood is Special Forces.

To deal with the swarms of lanternflies that have been attacking his trees, Wood turned a wet/dry vac into an effective killing machine. He attached a piece of plastic bottle to the business end of a long wand, allowing him to capture that many more insects with each pass. The insects, in turn, get sucked into a nylon stocking. Wood goes on patrol at least once a day, estimating he's killed nearly 40,000 this year.

But even this super-soldier can get discouraged by the sheer size of the enemy force.

"There are some days I just wanted to quit," he said.                                                                                                             SEE VIDEOES;                                               

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There is a grove of Tree of Heaven in Clearfield by the CVS.  I stopped there to check them out but found nothing at that time.  Please note, the trees need checked on a regular basis for any signs of the insect.  That would be a prime spot for them to bail from a vehicle passing through.  Although that is their favorite tree, you can find them on any hardwood species, and that's the economic backbone for our area.

Hunters and hikers are asked to check for egg masses right now, and report them to the Department of Agriculture at 1-888-422-3359 or call your local county Extension.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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PSU gets $7.3 million grant for spotted lanternfly research

News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Spotted lantern flies have been destroying fruit trees and vineyards in the Philadelphia area.

It’s spread to 14 PA counties and biologists are worried the insects are moving west.

With over 100 acres of fruit, Jason Coopey, Co-Owner of Way Fruit Farm, says he’s concerned about the threat of spotted lantern flies affecting his business.

Coopey grows grapes and apples, the spotted lantern fly’s favorite treats.
The closest spotted lanternflies may have been seen in Harrisburg , but coppey says there’s still reason to be alert.

“These things have wings and anything with wings travel very quickly,” Jason Coopey, Co-Owner for Way Fruit Farm, said. “The Emerald Ash Borer is a prime example of of what happened with these latest invasive species. There’s not an Ash tree alive right now, on this farm. You know all of them have died from the Emerald ash borer.”

Wednesday, Penn State announced they’re receiving a $7.3 million dollar federal grant for spotted lanternfly research.

Julie Urban, an Entomologist at Penn State says, right now the university and seven other schools in the Northeast are learning more about the insect and ways to stop them, like unleashing the bug’s predator, a wasp from it’s native habitat in China.

“We want to make sure that is we release a foreign insect here, it’s not going to hurt our native insects,” Urban, said.

She says the insect loves urban areas and certain trees, like red maples. That’s two things State College has going against it.

Coopey says he expects spotted lanternflies to be in Central PA soon, but says this grant and research will help us prepare.

“I do like the fact that they are getting proactive on this and that’s allowing for us to not be behind whenever it does occur,” Coopey, said.

Professor Urban says they expect the federal grant money to kick in any day now.                                                              SEE VIDEO    ;   https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/psu-gets-7-3-million-grant-for-spotted-lanternfly-research/

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If they manage to make it to Erie and the vineyards there, it will be a major disaster.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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Study: Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50M annually


by Associated Press

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Spotted Lanternfly (WJAC).

A large, colorful pest from Asia is costing the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million and eliminating nearly 500 jobs each year.

That's according to a Penn State study released Thursday.

The study represents researchers' first attempt to quantify the destruction caused by the

It was first detected in the U.S. in 2014, in Pennsylvania's Berks County.

It's since overrun the state's southeastern corner and spread into nearby states including New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia.

Penn State economists estimated the financial impact on industries most susceptible to spotted lanternfly, including nurseries, vineyards, Christmas tree growers and hardwood producers.

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PA Department of Agriculture adds 12 counties to spotted lanternfly quarantine


by CBS 21 News

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This Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, photo shows a spotted lanternfly at a vineyard in Kutztown, Pa. The spotted lanternfly has emerged as a serious pest since the federal government confirmed its arrival in southeastern Pennsylvania five years ago this week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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A dozen more counties are now part of Pennsylvania's quarantine zone for the spotted lanternfly.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that these counties were added on Tuesday out of caution. They are not completely infested, but have a few municipalities with a known infestation.

Cumberland, Perry and York counties are included in the 12 added to the quarantine.

Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin and Northumberland counties round out the dozen.

“The spotted lanternfly is more than a pest in the literal sense,” Redding said. “It’s wreaking havoc for home and business owners; kids who just want to play outside; Pennsylvania agriculture and the economy of the state we all call home."

According to a release from the Department of Agriculture, businesses that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to get a spotted lanternfly permit.

 

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Spotted Lanternfly has been found in every county in Pennsylvania but the counties on the list are those in which breeding colonies have been found.  All it takes is for a few eggs to survive the winter and raise young the following summer.  They are hitchhikers which is why they are extremely difficult to contain.  They travel on anything that moves, and if you consider the amount of traffic that goes across this state every hour of every day, it would be foolish to think it hasn't gone even farther that Pennsylvania.  Even issuing permits won't work because how many of the permit holders actually check every inch of their vehicle when they leave an infested area? Whether it survives to multiply the next year is the problem.  There are almost no tree species that they cannot damage severely, and the only ones that can be protected are those that can be sprayed or treated continually for these plant hoppers.  Think about our forestry industry in Pennsylvania and what it could cost our commercial businesses.  It's mind boggling.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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       To stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly, Penn State and the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of agriculture are asking people to report any spotted lanternfly they find, especially outside of the state-imposed quarantine zone.

 

       If you see it, kill it, take a photo if possible and make note of when, where and how many were seen. Then, call the spotted lanternfly hotline at 1-888-422-3359 or report it online at https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternfly.

 

       All reports outside of the quarantine zone are investigated by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. It’s important to note that a sighting of one or even a few of the insect does not necessarily mean there is a population or that a county will be placed under quarantine. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture decides if a population of spotted lanternfly is present and whether to put the county under quarantine. 

 

       The spotted lanternfly quarantine regulates the movement of plants, plant-based materials, and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area to keep this pest from spreading. More information on how to comply with the quarantine can be found on our website. 

 

       The success of stopping the spotted lanternfly depends on help from the public to look for and report signs of the pest. It’s easier to stop a few than it is a few hundred.

 

About the spotted lanternfly

       Native to Asia, the spotted lanternfly was first discovered in Berks County in 2014. It has since spread to Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties and to surrounding states including New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

 

       The insect has a broad host range including fruit, ornamental and woody plants and is a threat to the state’s agriculture and forestry industries. If not contained, the estimated economic impact to Pennsylvania is $324 million annually. It is critical that we keep this pest from spreading.

 

       The egg stage occurs during the late fall, winter and early spring. They resemble mud splatter, are laid on almost any surface, and can be spread when people move infested material. If you find an egg mass, smash it or scrape it off into a container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. 

 

       Eggs hatch around May. Once hatched, the nymphs and adults are mobile and can climb on or in almost anything. If you find a nymph or adult spotted lanternfly, smash it. It’s also important to check your vehicle when leaving a region known to have spotted lanternflies. Adult SLF die with the first few hard frosts in winter. 

To learn more about the spotted lanternfly including pictures, visit the

Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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This is the newest map for Quarantine of the Spotted Lanternfly.  Please note, that if you travel through these areas as a private citizen then please be sure to check your car and cargo before coming out of the Quarantine area.

If you are a business, then you must get a Permit in order to show that your drivers are trained to check on every trip out of the Quarantine area and to identify Spotted Lanternfly is all its stages, and what to do about it if it is found.  Permit identification must be shown prominently on the vehicle to allow inspectors to see it easily.

https://psu.app.box.com/s/dsw696tvwrtq9ahy3hc0atrw652zxxtb/file/655771512333


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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Pennsylvania sees first Spotted Lanternfly hatch, residents should be vigilant


by CBS21 News

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Spotted Lanternfly
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reported the first confirmed Spotted Lanternfly hatch of the year. The first-instar nymph was located Monday near the University of Pennsylvania/Drexel University.

“Let’s use this time at home to make a positive impact on Spotted Lanternfly this season; scrape and destroy any remaining egg masses you find and band your trees now,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “We need every Pennsylvanian to keep their eyes peeled for this bad bug, we can’t let our guard down.”

Most Spotted Lanternfly hatches begin in southern Pennsylvania in mid to late April and later for northern counties. As the first instars of Spotted Lanternfly hatch from eggs, they seek plant tissue to feed.

The Spotted Lanternfly is capable of destroying entire grape vineyards and damaging fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees.

Scraping egg masses is the most efficient way to kill them. If you find Spotted Lanternfly egg masses, scrape them off, using a putty knife, credit card, or other firm, blunt edged tool.

If you scrape an egg mass or squash a Spotted Lanternfly, always report your sighting. Sightings can be reported online or via phone by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY.                                                                     https://wjactv.com/news/local/pennsylvanias-sees-first-spotted-lanternfly-hatch-residents-should-be-vigilant

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Spotted lanternfly treatment poses threat to non-target wildlife species


by Samantha York

Spotted lanternfly (WJAC)
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CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WJAC) - A preventative measure used to stop the spotted lanternfly is now raising concerns among wildlife rehabilitators across Pennsylvania, especially in southeastern parts of the state.

Rehabilitators, like Centre Wildlife Care Executive Director Robyn Graboski, warn that while sticky bands are effective in catching the insect, they also pose a serious threat to non-target species, "It's bad. It's really bad. There's already so much in the environment that's detrimental to wildlife and our birds are declining in numbers. They do not need one more thing."

She explains the treatment is becoming a trap for other wildlife, "The biggest problem that rehabilitators are seeing is, once these finders find these animals, they try to get the animals off themselves. That is not a good idea because you could pull feathers out, you could break skin, you could hurt the animals. Even little animals are coming in with broken bones."

Sticky bands are essentially like tape, with a sticky surface. They are wrapped around the trunk of a tree and designed to catch spotted lanternflies, but rehabilitators are seeing hawks and other birds, bats, snakes and cats get stuck to them and getting hurt, or worse: dying.

Graboski says it's a preventable situation, using alternatives like Tree Bands.

However, if you do use sticky bands, Graboski recommends putting a form of mesh over the sticky part, "Not chicken wire because little birds and animals can get through chicken wire and still get stuck to the tape and then get tangled up in the wire and that just makes the situation worse." She advises people use a plastic, fine, half-inch mesh to put around the tape.

If you discover an animal in danger because of some sort of sticky tape, Graboski advises to cut the tape off with the animals still on it, put paper towels around the animal and set it in a cardboard box with a lid, then call a wildlife rehabilitator immediately.

While Graboski says Centre County has seen some spotted lanternflies, and her wildlife rescue has seen some animals stuck to sticky bands, the insect problem has not reached the area yet.

She explains that she is raising awareness as a preventative measure, "I want to nip this in the bud before it reaches Centre County, anywhere where people have spotted lanternflies and they use these sticky traps."

You can find a licensed rehabilitator closest to you through Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators or Animal Help Now: Emergency Resource.                                             SEE VIDEO REPORT     ;      https://wjactv.com/news/local/spotted-lanternfly-treatment-poses-threat-to-non-target-wildlife-species-08-06-2020

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Department of Agriculture, Partners Urge Pennsylvanians to Squash Spotted Lanternflies Today for Future Food Security

September 11, 2020 12:30 am·
Author: Maxfield Lane
 

adult-spotted-lanternfly-side-view.jpg
LANCASTER, Pa. – Following months of hyper-focus on the availability of food, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture partnered with Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) where they urged Pennsylvanians to act now against the Spotted Lanternfly for the sake of food security.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Richard Roush and APHIS Executive Director for Field Operations Carlos Martinez at Cherry Hill Orchards.

“I’ve said time and time again throughout the COVID-19 crisis that we will not accept hunger as our next pandemic,” Redding said. “But we all need to act now to fight a small, but mighty threat to Pennsylvania’s leading agriculture industry and ensure a diverse variety of food is available tomorrow.

“If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, squash it. Report it. Check your car before traveling,” Redding said. “These small acts make all the difference for our farmers working hard to feed Pennsylvania and the nation.”

Native to Asia and first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, the Spotted Lanternfly is capable of decimating entire grape vineyards and damaging fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees. These industries contribute billions annually to Pennsylvania’s economy. According to an economic impact study completed earlier this year by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, this bad bug could cost Pennsylvania up to $324 million annually in economic impact with a loss of more than 2,800 jobs if not contained.

In addition to endangering agriculture, the Spotted Lanternfly threatens our ability to enjoy the outdoors during spring and summer months. They’re known to swarm in the air, cover trees, and coat decks and play equipment with their excrement, known as honeydew. Honeydew, along with sap from weeping plant wounds that result from feeding of Spotted Lanternfly, can attract bees and other insects and also stimulate the growth of mold and other fungi.

“The key to finding strategies for sustainable, long-term management of the Spotted Lanternfly lies in understanding its biology and behavior, finding its weaknesses and exploiting them,” noted Rick Roush, dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “To that end, Penn State is working with US Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture scientists and other institutions to develop biological, chemical and physical controls, and other methods to manage the pest around forested areas, homes, parks, buildings, nurseries, vineyards and fruit farms.”

Projects include studies on disrupting the lanternfly female reproductive cycle; testing organic control methods such as a fungal-based spray and natural insect predators; investigations of the pest’s flight behavior, where it might travel and the conditions it needs to flourish; and research on its feeding preferences, including its penchant for tree of heaven and at-risk specialty crops such as grapes. Among the most novel approaches is taking advantage of the Spotted Lanternfly’s attraction to poles and other tall objects to design traps and barriers.

“Since 2014, the Spotted Lanternfly has been slowly, but steadily, eating away at the commonwealth’s economy,” Roush said. “As this destructive pest continues to put our state’s agricultural crops and recreational areas at risk, it is imperative that research and education efforts be increased and supported. Our efforts to date have yielded valuable insights, and we are sharing that information with growers, citizens and key stakeholders.”

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), universities, private industry, and other government agencies to advance effective strategies for battling the spotted lanternfly.

“We are developing new tools for long-term population control and methods to reduce impacts of this pest. This summer we deployed an improved trap for detecting spotted lanternfly populations,” said Carlos Martinez, APHIS Executive Director of Field Operations. “We will continue to work with PDA to detect and treat spotted lanternfly populations and conduct public outreach. We are committed to supporting Pennsylvania’s fight against this invasive pest.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences have worked collaboratively with the USDA over the past several years to educate the public and slow the spread of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania. With Penn State leading research and education efforts, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and USDA teams of inspectors follow up on reports of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania’s newly quarantined counties and counties outside of the quarantine zone, treating confirmed sightings as appropriate. These teams also conduct proactive surveys for the invasive insect to suppress new populations.

In early March, Pennsylvania added 12 counties to the area quarantined for Spotted Lanternfly. The 14 counties previously quarantined had widespread insect populations. The new 12 counties have isolated infestations. A detailed map of quarantined counties serves to illustrate how the insect travels – by hitchhiking with people travelling from infested areas to new areas.

It is crucial for anyone travelling in and outside the quarantined counties to be vigilant and look before they leave to prevent transporting insects to a new area. Pennsylvanians – even though inside the quarantine zone – should also report insects online or via phone at 1-888-422-3359. Spotted Lanternfly reports from the public provide valuable data for researching insect populations and slowing its spread.

For more about the Spotted Lanternfly visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly or the Penn State Extension          website.                                                                                                                                                                                                          https://www.explorejeffersonpa.com/department-of-agriculture-partners-urge-pennsylvanians-to-squash-spotted-lanternflies-today-for-future-food-security/

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Pennsylvania receiving $1.5 million federal grant to fight spotted lanternfly

by: Sarah Gisriel

Posted:  / Updated: 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The United States Department of Agriculture is giving Pennsylvania an additional $1.5 million to fight spotted lanternflies through the Plant Protection Act.

“The spotted lanternfly is still considered an agricultural emergency,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The flies have flown the coop to nine states, killing acres of grapes along the way.

“The lantern flies feed on the grape vines and then that leaves them vulnerable to winter temperatures,” said Emelie Swackhamer, horticulture educator, PennState Extension.

Meanwhile, the fight against the flies is heating up. Experts said the USDA’s grant will fund continued research, like studying Asian birds and fungi that already kill the flies.

“I’m hopeful that — you know — maybe, somewhere along the road these natural factors might help us stabilize the populations, and that’s kind of a long-term goal,” Swackhamer said.

In the short term, it’s critical to report fly egg masses to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“You’re not gonna hear back right away, but it does go into a database, and every report, a team follows up on,” Powers said.

Although, don’t wait for the team to destroy the egg masses. Powers said you can use any tool to destroy the eggs, which hold between 30 to 50 flies.

“Especially if your kids are driving you crazy in the house, send them out to hunt lantern flies, egg masses in your yard,” Powers said.

While this may be the latest emergency, experts said it won’t be the last.

“As we learn from the situation that is unfolding with spotted lantern fly, and we have resources to better address these issues, it will helps us with the other times, too,” Swackhamer said.

These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including:

  • $354,690 for spotted lanternfly (SLF) outreach and education to raise public awareness about the pest in the State;
  • $219,290 to improve detection and suppression of SLF;
  • $157,219 to prevent the spread of SLF through automated detection and citizen science;
  • $135,437 to support the Sentinel Plant Network, which contributes to plant conservation nationwide by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers, and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens;
  • $91,434 to monitor satellite populations of SLF in the State; and
  • $80,000 to support orchard surveys in the State.                                                                               SEE VIDEO REPORT     ;    https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/regional-news/pennsylvania-receiving-1-5-million-federal-grant-to-fight-spotted-lanternfly/

 

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