Statewide Spotted Lanternfly Reports Jump Drastically Since Beginning of Year

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are working together to secure $16 million from the USDA to help local farmers combat the spotted lanternfly.
Statewide reports of the invasive spotted lanternfly increased by 147 percent from January 1 to July 31, according to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Image via Reddit.

According to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, statewide reports of the spotted lanternfly grew by 147 percent from January 1 to July 31, writes Mary Ann Thomas for the Trib Live.

During the first seven months of the year, there were 41,329 reports from the public of the Asia-native, invasive insect, compared to 16,747 reports for the same period last year. Due to this drastic increase in sightings, many counties – including Montgomery County – have been quarantined.

“Teams of PA Department of Agriculture and USDA inspectors follow up on every report in newly quarantined counties and outside the quarantine, treating confirmed sightings as appropriate,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the state Department of Agriculture.

And while spotted lanternfly was mostly concentrated in Southeastern Pennsylvania since it first appeared six years ago, the insect is now slowly spreading into the west part of the state as well, said Heather Leach, an extension associate with Penn State’s Department of Entomology.

Still, “doing your part in Allegheny County is much less involved than doing your part in Montgomery County, where backyards are completely inundated with lanternfly,” she said.

Read more about spotted lanternfly at the Trib Live by clicking here.

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