Spotted Lanternfly: Living with the Quarantine

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has enacted a quarantine order in counties that are infested with the spotted lanternfly.
Spotted Lanternfly: Living with the Quarantine - Videos


This session explains why the quarantine is necessary and describes how residents can comply with the order.


Dana Rhodes

View Transcript

- [Dana] Hi, my name is Dana Rhodes.

I'm the State Plant Regulatory Official with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and I am here today to discuss the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine and what you will need to know to work within the Quarantine and what the Quarantine means to you.

Pennsylvania has a lot to lose if we were not to take Spotted Lanternfly seriously.

For values that we are able to put on products, we know that our hardwoods industry is worth over $16 billion.

We are the number one exporter for the United States in hardwoods.

In grapes, apples, peaches, and nursery and landscape, we are in the top four and five.

So we rank very high within the United States in commodities and the earnings that we receive from those commodities.

There are, however, some values that we cannot assess.

For those that are living currently within the Quarantine area, we don't know what Spotted Lanternfly will do to property values.

Those with very high populations saw drastic changes that we can only imagine will hurt property values as it moves forward.

Tourism within the state will certainly be affected.

Pennsylvania is an outdoorsman state, and with our parks and our game lands, Pennsylvania actually ranks third in the nation with state forest parks, just behind Alaska and California.

Our ecosystems could be changed within our forest.

Our wildlife depends on some of the wild grape for food, also for the black cherry that is prevalent throughout our forest.

We also have new initiatives that have been implemented by our governor with the Port of Philadelphia.

The new port is taking over some export services that are no longer available in other ports close to us.

So this could be impacting them as they trying to move commodities out of the United States.

Also, PA Preferred Brew is a new imitative in which the governor recognizes that Pennsylvania has the number one ranking for microbreweries within the state.

And PA Preferred is to help promote the growing of grains and hops to help that new industry continue to flourish.

However, hops is greatly affected by Spotted Lanternfly.

The insect can kill the vines, but also just the finding of honeydew on the hops, which is used in brewing, would mean that they could not be used.

It causes them to be irreparably damaged, so they would no longer be able to be processed.

When you look at the map, you see here lots and lots of green dots and some red dots.

The red dots are where we know Spotted Lanternfly has been found with established populations.

The green dots for me are very good, because that shows where we have looked for the insect and have not found it.

This is particularly important when we are working with our trading partners in other states and also in other countries.

If we are unable to show where we have looked and where we know the insect is not currently found, we would not be able to continue trade as we have.

We are constantly looking to see if additional Quarantines, external Quarantines are put up against Pennsylvania and its products, because then we would have to find ways to help those businesses mitigate the pest and satisfy the requirements of receiving states and/or countries for their commodities.

Spotted Lanternfly is a native to southeast Asia, and in this map you will notice the two red lines show the host range of where we know that will live.

Pennsylvania is towards the top, but again, it is able to continue its life cycle within the two red lines there, so this could have a great impact on most of the United States down into South and Central America.

So we have a big concern that we do not want this pest to continue to spread through our state and then throughout the United States.

In South Korea, this is actually considered an invasive pest, and for South Korea, within three years the entire country was inundated with Spotted Lanternfly and has caused a great impact to them, especially on their grape and peach commodities.

The Quarantine.

It is currently within 13 counties, and you will see here it is in the southeast portion of our state.

It covers all living life stages of the insect and conveyances that can move it, and this frightens some people, but it shouldn't because it simply means you have to take those extra moments, inspect your vehicles, your RVs, your campers.

Even a grill that you might be selling on Craigslist, you can inspect it, make sure it is free from the insect or any egg masses, and then you may move it out of the Quarantine.

A Quarantine is designed to help limit the movement, but not stop movement.

We need to show other states and other countries that we take this seriously, and that everyone is working together in order to mitigate and make sure that we are not recklessly moving any egg masses and/or adults, and the adults are very good hitchhikers.

So taking the time to do the inspection and safeguarding things that are stored outside is very important, and there are things that people need to think about, like where the tree lines are.

Are there Ailanthus trees within the tree line?

And if there are, then please don't store items directly in those tree lines.

Tarping or storing things inside would be very helpful to make sure that you're not opening yourself up to moving a life stage.

We have those that work in lumber, and they have to do inspections of the logs, and the lumber industry has been very proactive in developing best management practices, so that every person who works within hardwood industry knows what their role is and how they can help prevent the movement of any Spotted Lanternfly.

When we think of the Quarantine, we sometimes don't realize how vast the work that is going on within the Quarantine and the different industries that are working in there.

We have to realize that when we are talking about Quarantine, we have orchards, we have vineyards within that area, and they have large amounts of product that are being moved out, so they have to take special care.

This particular Quarantine area has a lot of warehousing, and also a lot of tractor trailers, so they are moving lots of different things all over the United States.

Also think about woody debris, especially after we've had some winter storms, and what is happening with that.

Where is it moving?

How can it be mitigated?

When you're thinking about the Quarantine, the good news is that a study was done right after we found it, and we find that wood chipping, woody debris into mulch, one-by-one chips, actually disrupts any egg masses that might be on the wood, meaning the eggs cannot hatch.

So this is a good practice if you do have woody debris to go ahead and chip it, and the mulch can stay within the Quarantine and you would have the benefit of it helping any planter beds in the Quarantine area.

There are all types of businesses within the Quarantine.

Some of them are Ag related, some of them are not.

We certainly have our traditional landscape and arborist companies.

We have Christmas tree growers, and of course we have logging.

Hardwood industry is very active, but there are other industries that we are having to learn more and more about.

There are companies that actually produce car batteries, and how that all works, having to meet those folks, learn how they handle products, how it's moved within the Quarantine and also outside the Quarantine.

Also there are products that are produced such as tanks with oxygen or helium, and because of safety factors, they cannot be stored inside or within a closed building.

So we have to again learn more about the industries that are operating, and see how they can safeguard products so that it is not going to have egg masses laid on it or be moving adults or nymphs.

Other than businesses, we also think about the other people who are living every day or who come to visit Pennsylvania, and how they could be impacted.

Certainly we're all very proud that we now have the Philadelphia Eagles, and as they are certainly located within the Quarantine area, we think about their tailgating parties and Spotted Lanternfly and how they might be flying around as those tailgating parties are going on.

We have many visitors coming in, certainly in our campgrounds.

Many people are camping under tree lines, so making them more aware of what they need to inspect, picnic tables that are being stored outside.

We have to think about the impact of tourism, and again property values.

Are they going to go up?

Are they going to go down?

And how they will be impacted by this particular insect, and Spotted Lanternfly is the one that we are fighting here.

We all have to keep that in mind.

The insect is the enemy.

When we are going in to work with businesses within the Quarantine, the inspectors provide risk assessments.

You may have a business that has no Ailanthus trees on the property, in fact it may be all blacktop.

So their risk of movement is certainly much lower than those that have areas surrounded with Ailanthus trees or who have high populations of employees working continuously 24/7 on the property, or those that might be doing interstate or international sales.

Those risks go up.

So the more trade you do and the more Ailanthus tress you have on the property, the higher your risk of trying to move.

So we then provide education and training to those businesses, so that they can teach their employees what to look for and how to be safe.

We offer Phytosanitary Certificates for those that might be moving only one or two loads.

We have Compliance Agreements that we offer for those that are continuously moving, and then the inspectors verify.

So once a business tells us what they're going to do and how they're going to safeguard their product, the inspectors go back in and they verify that they are doing what they told us they were going to do.

And if they aren't, then we work with them again to make sure that they understand the importance of working within the Quarantine.

A new tool that we are beginning to implement is a permit, and the permit is for all businesses, for all state, federal, and local agencies within the Quarantine, and also those who are outside the Quarantine going into the Quarantine.

It currently is a hang tag that hangs on your rear-view mirror, and it shows that you have been trained and that you have tested and that you understand the Quarantine, as well as the insect and know what to look for.

For homeowners we offer a Certification Checklist.

A Certification Checklist can be found on our webpage.

It also may be found at some of the township offices or some of the local extension offices.

These checklists allow homeowners to inspect themselves, and it will show you various items that might be stored outside that you might be moving, whether it's motor homes, trailers, again, grills or playground equipment, and the homeowner simply needs to check off what they have inspected, what they are moving, sign the Certification Checklist, and then that becomes a legal document that can travel with them.

They can keep it in their car, so that if anyone questions if they are coming into the Quarantine or where they're going, they can show that they have inspected and that they understand the requirements of the Quarantine.

One thing that we also offer for our Compliance Agreement folks, we list them as Compliance Agreement participants on the webpage.

This allows people to go and see if companies have a Compliance Agreement, what they're doing, and we know that people are checking and we know that businesses are actually looking here when they need to use a subcontractor or when they want to do business with someone who is in the Compliance Program.

So we feel like this is a good tool for the community to have, as well as local businesses.

So if you are currently not living within the Quarantine, or you don't know if you're in the Quarantine, on our webpage we offer an interactive map.

So you can go to the to Spotted Lanternfly and look under the Quarantine, and you can click on the interactive map.

And what you will see is the map comes up and then you can hover your mouse over a county or an area and a little box will pop up to let you know if this county or this area is in the Quarantine.

Let's say that you are outside the Quarantine and you're not sure that where you are going is in the Quarantine.

You may enter in another box the address and hit search, and it too will then show you exactly where that particular location is, and it will tell you if it is in the Quarantine area or not.

We think that this will provide some useful information to those that are traveling through the state, or again, they are not in the Quarantine and you're not sure if you're walking or going into the Quarantine, and want to know before you get there, so you can be prepared.

We have provided, we have seven regional offices, and each of those regions have a supervisor.

So here you will see the contact information for each of those regional offices.

So if you are working in the Quarantine, you're a business going in and out of the Quarantine, and you need to have a permit or you wonder if you should have a Compliance Agreement, contact your local regional office and they will be able to answer your questions and assist you with the information that you will need for permits and Compliance Agreements.

This entire project has relied on communication.

We have found that working with the community, working with our extension educators and our businesses has helped us all a great deal.

This is a partnership.

We are in this together.

There is no way that we will be able to beat Spotted Lanternfly unless we all pull together and become one big team working together.

As that team, we provided monthly calls for local elected officials.

They are able to hear what is going on with the program.

They are then given the opportunity to share questions or concerns that they have with PDA staff, with extension staff, as well as with USDA and other sister agencies.

As requested, we will provide Town Hall meetings.

We also do Facebook messaging, electronic messaging that is then provided to townships and the USDA and to extension, so that they to can share those messages on their Facebook pages.

We have annual meetings.

We provide articles for newsletters.

We have trainings and we are trying to expand our training to be web-based trainings, much like what you're having here today.

We are also looking at providing a unit on Spotted Lanternfly and the Quarantine that would also have a testing module for permits, so that is in process and we hope to have that soon.

We do work with businesses very closely, and again, extension is very big partner for Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and working on Spotted Lanternfly.

We have certainly benefited from a lot of the work that they have been able to put together for the counties within the Quarantine, and also messaging outside of the Quarantine, and we will continue to work very closely with extension, as well as Penn State researchers on finding answers for getting rid of Spotted Lanternfly.

This is my information if you have some very broad questions about the Quarantine or compliance requirements or Compliance Agreements.

But again, if you do need a permit or Compliance Agreement, please contact your local PDA regional office and the supervisors will be able to tell you of any testing opportunities or training opportunities that are coming up available for the permits.

I want to thank all of you for learning more about Spotted Lanternfly, and becoming a part of the effort in controlling, containing, and eradicating.

Thank you.


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