Nearly five years after its first U.S. discovery in Berks County, the spotted lanternfly is facing a hard-fought fight in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf and Russell Redding, the state's agriculture secretary, visited a spot in Harrisburg that's been populated by the invasive insect for a firsthand look at the treatment being conducted there and in counties across the commonwealth.
"Although Pennsylvania had the unlucky fate of being the first state in the nation to be visited by the spotted lanternfly, we faced that challenge head-on and have made incredible strides in containment and control," Wolf said. "This is a team effort and all hands are on deck, committed to protecting Pennsylvania's agricultural products, preserving our quality of life, and keeping commerce flowing here in the commonwealth."
The governor's farm bill provides $3 million for the containment of the spotted lanternfly, which threatens the state's agriculture industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also helped to fund the state's efforts.
"Pennsylvania's progress in controlling the spotted lanternfly is due in part to the historic partnership we've made with USDA and Penn State and the critical funding we received through the state and federal budgets," Redding said. "However, it's important that Pennsylvanians remember that they play a significant role in this fight. They can treat their property with approved sprays, band their trees, or even use something as simple as a fly swatter to help control populations right in their own backyard."
Homeowners with questions about treatment, including approved sprays, can learn more through Penn State Extension.