DOUGLASSVILLE, Pa. (WPVI) -- The first spotted lanternfly sighting occurred approximately five years ago, and they are now so widespread the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is enforcing strong, but necessary, measures with the hope of containing this destructive bug.
The spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of plants and, as a result, threatens Pennsylvania's vineyards, lumber, tree fruit, and landscaping industries.
To stop any further spread, the Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine for counties where the presence of spotted lanternfly has been confirmed.
Currently, this includes 14 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and include, essentially, all of the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.
Now, people who live in, or travel, into the quarantine areas are expected to inspect vehicles, trailers, or any outdoor items before moving them out of the quarantine zone.
Also, if anyone finds a spotted lanternfly that is outside of the quarantine, they are asked to try and collect it, kill it, or take a good picture and report it immediately to the Agriculture Department.
The quarantine also stipulates that any businesses that operate in the quarantine zone must have permits to move equipment and goods within and out of the quarantine.
Starting on May 1, business permits will be enforced and failure to comply will result in potentially hefty fines. A free permit training course is available online for any business that operates in the quarantine zone.
Pennsylvania Issues Quarantine To Stop Spread of Spotted Lanternfly