The state Department of Agriculture is intensifying efforts to contain the spread of spotted lanternflies as the invasive pest starts to hatch throughout the region, writes Pat Ralph for the Philly Voice.
The department is treating rights-of-way, such as railways and interstates, with an insecticide spray that kills the spotted lanternfly on contact.
Contact spraying is currently ongoing in the southeastern and south-central regions of Pennsylvania, where the pervasive insects are further along in their hatching cycle than in other areas.
At this point, spotted lanternflies are currently around 50 percent hatched in the southernmost counties, according to the Department of Agriculture. The spray is most effective when 75 to 100 percent of the insects are already hatched.
The focus of the contact spraying is on transportation rights-of-way because these invasive pests primarily move by hitching rides on vehicles traveling from infested areas.
“Spotted lanternflies threaten our quality of life outdoors and destroy valuable products that feed our economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “We are working diligently and strategically to control this pest in ways that are safe for the people, pollinators, plants, and animals that share the environment it threatens.”
Read more about the spotted invasive pest in the Philly Voice.