I first became aware of the spotted lanternfly (“SLF”) when, as a Penn State Football season ticket holder, I received a notice that I was supposed to search my car for any evidence of SLF presence before leaving my home in Lancaster County en route to State College. I became more concerned about the SLF after I read a news article about a family whose home was overtaken by SLFs that were attached to their Christmas tree.
The SLF is an invasive plant-hopping insect that can have a detrimental impact on local agriculture. The SLF was first discovered in Berks County and has spread to a number of nearby counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. As a result, several counties, including Lancaster County have been placed in a SLF quarantine zone.
While the quarantine is designed to alert residents and visitors in the quarantine zone of the dangers posed by the SLF, it is primarily intended to prevent the spread of the SLF beyond the zone by requiring businesses and organizations conducting business in the quarantine zone to obtain a SLF permit to move vehicles, equipment and goods within and out of the zone. If you are the owner or manager of one of these businesses or organizations, you may be required to obtain a SLF permit. This is true regardless of whether your business is located in the quarantine zone.
Owners and managers of businesses and organizations that transact business in the quarantine zone can visit the Penn State Extension website to find out if their business or organization is required to obtain a SLF permit.
To obtain a permit, a designated employee of the business or organization can take a free “train the trainer” course offered by the Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Once the designated employee passes the course, they will receive the requested number of permits for their company’s or organization’s vehicles. The designated employee must then train their fellow employees before distributing the permits.
More information on the SLF can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website.