The Spotted Lanternfly: Tips for Handling Yard Waste in Quarantined Areas

Posted: April 6, 2016

The invasive spotted lanternfly has been found in four southeastern counties in Pennsylvania. We are trying to eradicate this potential pest. There is a quarantine order in place that prohibits movement of any living life stage of this insect to areas outside of the quarantine area.
Spotted lanternfly egg mass.

Spotted lanternfly egg mass.

Information about identifying the spotted lanternfly and the most current information about the quarantine order and compliance.

  • Learn about spotted lanternfly and its host plants. Report any capture, photos or sightings of this insect in areas outside of the current quarantine to or 1-866-253-7189.
  • Know which municipalities are included in the quarantine order. Additional municipalities will be added if new discoveries occur.
  • Avoid moving this insect on woody plant debris, such as fallen trees or branches and tree trimmings, and also any living plants, equipment, building materials, or other objects. Businesses may avoid possible fines by entering into a compliance agreement through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). Plant nurseries, nursery stock dealers, and mulch producers should contact their plant inspector for compliance information. Information to contact your regional PDA office.
  • Non-commercial residents can use the compliance checklist when moving items.
  • Movement of fallen leaves is not regulated under the spotted lanternfly quarantine. 
  • If possible, chip all woody debris on-site to no larger than 1-inch pieces in each of two dimensions. Even within the quarantined area, it is a better practice to move chips rather than move larger woody debris.
  • If you can, leave all chips or woody debris on-site. The next best option is to take chips or debris to an organic materials recycler within the quarantine area.
  • To kill viable insects or eggs in chipped material, the following composting procedure must be followed before moving it out of the quarantine area.
  • Compost piles must be a minimum of 200 cubic yards.
  • Internal temperature at a depth of 18 inches must reach 140º F (60° C) for four (4) continuous days.
  • After the interior of the pile is successfully treated, the exterior of the pile needs to be rotated to the center. Using a front-end loader or a bulldozer, remove the outer layer of the compost pile to a depth of three (3) feet.
  • Start a second compost pile using the recently-removed cover material as a core.
  • Cover this second compost pile by moving the core material from the first compost pile as a cover at least three (3) feet deep.
  • Allow the second compost pile to remain undisturbed until the temperature reaches 140° F (60° C) for at least four (4) continuous days.
  • After the chips have been successfully composted according to these directions, the resulting composted material meets compliance requirements.
  • Mulch being offered for sale and moving out of the quarantine area is required to be certified by PDA. Please contact your regional plant inspector for information.

SLF egg masses on a branch
Branch with spotted lanternfly egg masses.

Contact Information

Emelie Swackhamer
  • Extension Educator, Green Industry
Phone: 610-489-4315
Kathleen V. Salisbury
  • Extension Educator, Green Industry and Tree Fruit
Phone: 215-345-3283