August 16, 2019
Joining the Battle Against Spotted Lanternflies
A Spotted Lanternfly seen in King of Prussia, PaSource: The Burgundy Zine
The Spotted Lanternfly is a destructive pest with the potential to cost Pa’s economy in the upwards of $18 billion dollars, the Penn State Extension (PSE) reports. Since their discovery in Berks County five years ago, they’ve rapidly invaded southeastern Pa.
In an effort to engage residents in the Pa Department of Agriculture (PDA)’s fight against this insect, the PDA will offer permits for 31 in-person Spotted Lanternfly classes for businesses across 14 counties, including: Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks.
A Bit of Context…
Spotted Lanternflies are a planthopper indigenous to China, India, and Vietnam, according to the PDA.
Although it’s considered a medicinal insect in China that’s used to reduce swelling, as stated in research published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, it has reached pest status in Korea and in North America due to the threat it poses towards grapes, stone fruit, ornamental plants, and various trees.
Since their introduction to the Commonwealth, the PDA, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Penn State University (PSU), and PSE have joined forces to quarantine Spotted Lanternflies.
While PSU is conducting research on the pest, the USDA and PDA are acting upon the quarantine. Additionally, the PDA has been surveying counties surrounding the quarantine zone to keep an eye out for spreading of the species.
Multiple legislators, including Rep Jennifer O’Mara (D-165), Rep Steve Malagari (D-53), and Rep Gary Day (R-187) have also hosted events about the Spotted Lanternfly to educate Pennsylvanians and bring awareness to the situation.
Spotted Lanternfly Classes
Aug 15 through Dec 18, 2019, the PDA will offer in-person Spotted Lanternfly classes for businesses throughout the 14 counties affected, the Pa Pressroom reported earlier this month.
Together, the PDA and PSE have developed a self-paced online course that trains employees how to comply with the quarantine in order to prevent spreading Spotted Lanternflies elsewhere, according to the PSE’s registration page for the class.
There are three sections to each course, each ending with a quiz that requires a score of at least 70 percent to pass. Only one designated employee is required to pass the course to receive vehicle permits for their company. The designated employee is also expected to teach fellow employees how to comply with the quarantine, as well.
The classes are free and come with downloadable training material in both English and Spanish in PDF format.
You may register for the Spotted Lanternfly Permit course online or contact the PSE with any additional questions. Their telephone number is 717-787-5674 and their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, the PDA offers an interactive quarantine map to see whether your area is already being treated before reporting your sighting. In the event that you spot this insect in an area that falls outside of the zone, immediately report it online or via telephone: 1-888-4BADFLY.
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