Spotted lanternfly egg-laying season starts soon

August 22, 2022

Land Line Staff


Spotted lanternfly season is back, and the pest can get truck drivers in trouble.

Spotted lanternfly is an invasive species of insect that poses a great threat to agriculture, including grape production and fruit tree, plant nursery and timber industry.

It was first discovered in the U.S. in 2014 in Berks County, Pa. The species comes from Asia. Since being discovered in the U.S., the species has settled in New York, Canada, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. New reports say the invader is making its way into the Upper Midwest, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

All of this matters to truck drivers because states can levy fines and civil penalties for transporting – knowingly or unknowingly – spotted lanternflies or their eggs.

September is the start of egg-laying season for the spotted lanternfly. The egg mass stage looks like a smear of mud and can be found on any smooth, hard surface.

To destroy it, scrape the mass off of whatever surface it’s on and into a container that has rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Then double-bag the container before disposing of it.

The adult spotted lanternfly is about one inch long by a half inch wide, with distinctive gray, black and red wings and a yellow abdomen. It can be killed by squashing it.

PennState Extension offers a PDF on what to look for to help stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has a map of counties under a lanternfly quarantine. A dozen counties have been added in 2022. The quarantine prohibits the movement of any spotted lanternfly living stage, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect.

In Pennsylvania, permits are required for transporting goods within, to or from the quarantine area. The permits are free. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture offers this PDF spotted lanternfly business toolkit.

Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have developed a free, self-paced, online course to train designated employees how to comply with the quarantine.

The list of regulated materials includes landscaping or construction waste; logs, stumps or any tree parts; firewood, grapevines, living or dead; nursery stock; pots, crates or pallets; and equipment or vehicles not stored indoors.

Here is a Mid-Atlantic Region quarantine map from PennDOT. LL

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