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Spotted Lanternfly Program Information

History of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania

On September 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, confirmed the presence of Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, (WHITE)) in Berks County, Pennsylvania (PA), the first detection of this non-native species in the United States.

Understanding the potential impact to PA's agricultural economy, natural resources and residential quality of life was great, PDA issued an Order of Quarantine and Treatment restricting the movement of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) and limiting human-assisted spread. Today, counties across PA are under the quarantine as PDA works with federal, state, local and non-governmental cooperators to eliminate this pest from the Commonwealth.

PA Department of Agriculture Response

Since SLF was discovered, PDA has endeavored to locate, track and control the invasive pest. This response is ongoing and requires the aid of all Commonwealth citizens and businesses to ensure we limit the spread.

PDA Survey and Treatment

Since 2014, PDA has been funded to perform survey work and implement control methods, conduct research, and provide outreach to affected citizens.

PDA has surveyed for SLF in every county in the state since the insect was first found. Surveys include the use of traps and lures, as well as visual surveys performed in areas noted for their high potential of spread. Through continued survey, PDA learns more about SLF and can focus efforts.

PDA also engages in treatment of SLF's preferred host, tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Treatment occurs where known populations of SLF exist. PDA seeks to eliminate most of the tree-of-heaven at a site while treating select trees with a systemic insecticide that targets SLF when they feed.

PDA Quarantine, Permit and Compliance

The SLF Order of Quarantine and Treatment affects residents and businesses across the Commonwealth. Visit the SLF Quarantine & Permitting page for to understand how to be compliant and for the most up-to-date quarantine information and maps.

Spotted Lanternfly Outreach and Communications

PDA has teamed with the communications offices of both Penn State University (PSU) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to bring a united, consistent message to all Commonwealth citizens. These messages include social media posts, press releases, news interviews, public events, informational handouts, videos, billboards, signs in parks and other public places, and advertising in newspapers and on public transport.

PDA staff also work with SLF-specific Community Taskforces which meet to discuss the efforts and needs of the community and the businesses within them.

For the most up-to-date information on Spotted Lanternfly, sign up for PDA's Spotted Lanternflier enewsletter and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Penn State University and Extension: Research

Penn State University and Extension are leading the research efforts to find ways to control and mitigate the spread of SLF, and to answer the many questions we have about the insect's biology, pesticide effectiveness, and the ability of the insect to adapt to the environment in Pennsylvania. Please visit the Research Page for current project information. Use the latest management resources on the Penn State Extension SLF website for safe and effective SLF control.

Federal Assistance

The USDA assembled a pest advisory group immediately after the detection of SLF. This group determines the impact of new pests, identifies resources, and offers guidance on pest response strategies. Their work includes the identification of resources and the formation of a technical working group comprised of plant hopper experts, who can answer questions about the pest. This group has supported PA's response by putting the state in touch with resources needed to respond to this new pest.

USDA is also engaged in the fight on the ground against SLF, contributing staffing in PA and neighboring states for survey and treatment work, both in quarantine and non-quarantine areas. Often, USDA and PDA staff work side by side in areas in order to effectively control SLF.

Public Engagement

Public engagement is vital to the effective control of this pest and the protection of PA agriculture, private and public properties, communities, and the Commonwealth as a whole. Join the state-wide effort by implementing the "What Can Be Done" steps on the SLF Main page to become knowledgeable and vigilant, understand management techniques to reduce populations, and to know how to report and share information.