Spotted lanternflies start hatching in May


LANCASTER, Pa. —

Now that the warm weather has arrived in Pennsylvania, spotted lanternflies are on the way. The invasive pests’ eggs usually start hatching in May.

The spotted lanternfly poses a significant threat to Pennsylvania agriculture. Last year in the Susquehanna Valley, they were primarily seen in northern Lancaster County.

Wednesday Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Lancaster County Central Park for a demonstration of control methods.

“Spotted lanternfly threatens Pennsylvania’s economy, our ability to transport goods, and simply enjoy being outdoors,” Redding said in a prepared statement. “We have slowed the spread of this destructive pest by working strategically as a team. The investments proposed in the PA Farm Bill will help ensure that we are positioned to combat other pest and disease threats.”

The PA Farm Bill includes a $5 million Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account. Three million from that account can be used to contain disease outbreak or invasive insect threats. The Department of Agriculture also says that the USDA recently approved another $6.2 million in funding to help Pennslyvania’s efforts.

Pennsylvania now requires some drivers to be trained to look for spotted lanternfly

Pennsylvania officials are trying to stop the spread of an invasive insect, and they’re turning to certain drivers for help. Those drivers could face fines if they don’t cooperate.

The spotted lanternfly is a threat to the state’s agriculture business because it’s harmful to certain crops and trees. The insect has already invaded four states, including more than a dozen counties in Pennsylvania.

Commercial vehicles that travel through those quarantined areas of Pennsylvania are required to have a spotted lanternfly permit. Obtaining the permit is free, but drivers must take a two-hour training course on how to check their vehicles for the insect.

State police are already checking for the permits but will give drivers a grace period of about a month. After that, troopers could issue fines of up to $300.

Read more about the spotted lanternfly.