‘Spotted Lanternfly’ Found in Lower Merion
The spotted lanternfly, an invasive flying insect with distinctive markings, has been found in Lower Merion Township. The destructive species, which has been steadily increasing geographically, was found in parts of northern Montgomery County a year ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced then.
In the last week, the lanternfly was discovered at the Harriton House property in Bryn Mawr. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to investigate sites in the area, expanding in a quarter-mile radius from each confirmed location.
Information on reporting the pest, best practices to avoid the continued migration, and treatments can be found by clicking here.
Spotted lanternflies are not known to bite, sting or attack people, pets, or livestock, the state’s Department of Agriculture says in a published FAQ, which can be found here. “But because of the damage spotted lanternflies do to agriculture and forestry products, [they] are a threat to the economic well-being of our state and its citizens.”
The spotted lanternfly is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014. It feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima, also an invasive species) being one of the preferred hosts. It has the potential to damage the grape, hops, orchards, hardwood, and nursery industries.
What to do:
For those who find the spotted lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recommends ways to destroy them or collect a specimen. You can also take a photo and submit it to Badbug@pa.gov. If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-422-3359) and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.
A short video on how to remove spotted lanternfly eggs can be viewed here (audio starts at the 8-second mark). A short overview video on the pest can be viewed here. And a 20-minute tutorial for homeowners from Penn State Extension can be viewed here.
On May 26, 2018, a new spotted lanternfly Order of Quarantine and Treatment was published. A quarantine limits movement of commodities and home articles, and requires inspection and safe movement from the quarantine.