On the heels of spotted lanternfly sightings throughout the city, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer was joined by partners in the fight against this invasive species.
The mission: to explain why the spotted lanternfly is harmful and what people should do when they see the invasive insects.
"To help stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly, I encourage everyone to close all car windows when parked, and look before you leave, checking every part of your car. We need every Pennsylvanian to be vigilant and stand together in this fight. If spotted lanternflies are found in your yard or home, we encourage you to destroy them. They will not harm you, your pets or your house, but can be a real nuisance and can harm your plants and trees," said Strathmeyer.
Spotted lanternflies begin laying eggs in masses of 30 to 50, covered in a gray, mud-like substance, in late September or early October.
Egg masses may be found on any smooth, flat surface including trees, stones, playground equipment, patio furniture, or vehicles. Because egg masses can sometimes be hard to spot, they pose the greatest risk for accidental transport of spotted lanternflies to new areas.
In July of this year, when Governor Tom Wolf signed the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, it created the PA Rapid Response Account funded at $5 million. This account allows for a quick response to agricultural disasters, which includes $3 million for animal or plant health officials to utilize to contain an outbreak or threat, such as the spotted lanternfly.
Additionally, USDA recently dedicated more than $7.5 million in new funding to Pennsylvania's efforts.
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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 Spotted Lanternfly, visit: www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.