Berks

Spotted lanternfly quarantine moved deeper into Berks

Laureldale, Muhlenberg added to quarantine list

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state-imposed quarantine that's meant to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly is moving deeper into Berks County and closer to Reading.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has added Laureldale and Muhlenberg Township to the list of municipalities where the quarantine is in place. Muhlenberg shares all of its southern border with the city.

Berks has been ground zero in the fight against the spotted lanternfly since the invasive insect made its first U.S. appearance in the county in 2014. While it has no known impacts on human health, the insect is feared for its attack on grapes, apples, pines and stone fruits.

The Berks municipalities that fall under the quarantine are: Alsace, Amity, Centre, Colebrookdale, District, Douglass, Earl, Exeter, Hereford, Longswamp, Maidencreek, Maxatawny, Muhlenberg, Oley, Pike, Richmond, Robeson, Rockland, Ruscombmanor, Union, and Washington townships, and the boroughs of Bally, Bechtelsville, Birdsboro, Boyertown, Centerport, Fleetwood, Laureldale, Lyons, St. Lawrence, and Topton

The general quarantine restricts movement of any material or object that can spread the pest, including firewood or wood products, brush or yard waste, remodeling or construction materials and waste, packing material like boxes, grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock, and any outdoor household articles like lawnmowers, grills, tarps and other equipment, trucks or vehicles typically not stored indoors, officials said.

The Department of Agriculture offers the following tips on helping to control the insect's movement:

  • In months when adults are active, do a quick inspection of your vehicle any time you move in or near a quarantine area, to find any spotted lanternfly hitchhikers.
  • If you see eggs on trees or other smooth outdoor surfaces: Scrape them off, double bag them and throw them in the garbage, or place the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.
  • If you collect a specimen:  First, place the sample in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak proof container. Submit the specimen to your county Penn State Extension office or to the department's entomology lab for verification. Don't move live specimens around, even within the quarantined area. There are many places under quarantine that do not yet have active populations of spotted lanternfly – you do not want to help them establish a new home base.
  • If you take a photo: Submit photo of adults or egg masses to badbug@pa.gov.
  • If you report a site: Call the invasive species report line at 866-253-7189 with details of the sighting and your contact information.  

 


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