Have you seen the Spotted Lanternfly? These planthoppers are native to Southeast Asia but have become common in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Because they have five separate states of development, their appearance changes over time. In the nymph state, they are black with bright white spots. As they grow to adulthood, they will turn a vibrant red with distinct patches of black and white spots. At adulthood, they sport inch-long gray wings with black spots and a bright red underwing.
These insects are so invasive that 14 counties in Pennsylvania–Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill are under a quarantine in order to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly. If you live in or do business in one of these counties, it’s very likely you’ve seen these pests.
Here’s the problem.
Spotted lanternflies hitch rides out of quarantined areas, and they have been spotted in other areas of Pennsylvania, as well as, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. They lay their eggs on all surfaces including vehicles, pallets, rail cars, trailers, as well as, all kinds of equipment. People traveling into and out of quarantined areas can easily spread spotted lanternflies.
Why is the Spotted Lanternfly such a problem?
According to PennState Extension, spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of over 70 plants including important forestry and agricultural crops which include grapes, tree-fruits, hardwoods, as well as, nursery industries which combined are worth nearly $18 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy. In addition to the spotted lanternfly’s danger to the above industries, these pests can also greatly affect the quality of life for those who live in quarantined areas.
In order to stop the spread with the hopes of eradicating the spotted lanternfly, the state of Pennsylvania is requiring businesses who ship products within and out of the quarantined areas to have or hire companies who have completed specific training and to have obtained a permit. The course is self-paced and online. It teaches people how to identify each life stage of the spotted lanternfly and how to find and destroy lanternflies and egg masses.
It is imperative that both shippers and carriers complete the training to obtain permits because beginning May 1, 2019, the Pennsylvania State Police has the authority to stop trucks and issue fines for lack of spotted lanternfly permits. Here at Blue Eagle Logistics, we are committed to our customers, to our state, and to stopping the spread of the spotted lanternfly. That’s why we completed the spotted lanternfly training and obtained the necessary permits to move goods within and out of the quarantine zone.
For more information concerning the spotted lanternfly: