The Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive planthopper, was discovered in Berks County in 2014. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and was also introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest.
This insect has the potential to greatly impact the stone fruit, grape, hops and logging industries. Damage to blueberries, basil, cucumbers and horseradish has also been observed.
On May 26, 2018, a new Spotted Lanternfly Order of Quarantine and Treatment was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture established the quarantine order to stop this pest from moving out of the currently affected area.
The Pa Department of Ag is also working to minimize the movement of Spotted Lanternfly within the quarantine area, by deterring the movement of Spotted Lanternfly on materials, equipment, vehicles, etc. from high population areas into areas with low to no populations.
All residents and businesses must comply with the regulations. A Spotted Lanternfly permit is required for businesses working within the quarantine which move products, vehicles or other conveyances within or out of the quarantine.
A Spotted Lanternfly Permit is required in the following counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Carbon, Dauphin, Delaware, Monroe, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.
Owners, supervisors, or managers designated by the business should complete the training. This person will be responsible to train employees on what to look for and how to safeguard against moving spotted lanternfly. The department encourages everyone, even those who do not need a permit, to take advantage of training.
Training classes are being offered free of charge. The classes will consist of a pre-recorded training session followed by a 20-question exam. A score of 70% (14/20) is required to pass and to receive a permit.
Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training will be held on Aug. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Berks Penn State University County Extension Office, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport.
Registration is required. To register, contact the PA Dept. of Ag., at 717- 787-5674 or SLFPermit@pa.gov.