Spotted lanternfly empty egg cases. Photo: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State
There will be a free training and permit testing seminar held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 from 10am-1:00pm at the Montgomery County 4-H Center, 1015 Bridge Road, Collegeville, PA 19426 and Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 10am-1:00pm at the Bucks County Penn State Extension, Neshaminy Manor Center, 1282 Almshouse Road, Doylestown, PA 18901.
Each seminar is limited to 35 participants. Please RSVP by emailing email@example.com. Include the name of the individual attending the training and taking the test, and number of registered vehicles for your business.
Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has been adapting to life in Pennsylvania. It has expanded its range rapidly, primarily by hitchhiking on vehicles and cargo. This gives it the potential to severely hinder commerce in the region if other areas begin to embargo Pennsylvania goods. That’s why it’s crucial for everyone in the quarantined area to do their part to stop the pest’s primary means of spreading.
As the pest has adapted and multiplied, the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) has adapted strategies for containment, control, and quarantine to effectively battle the pest. In February 2018, PDA began rolling out a new permitting system for businesses, municipalities, state and federal agencies, and other organizations working within the 13-county quarantine zone. The physical permit — a hangtag for vehicle rearview mirrors — is designed to indicate that the permittee is aware of the Spotted Lanternfly and follows procedures to prevent spreading the pest from one location to another.
The permitting process begins with training on SLF, after which a 20 question multiple-choice test will be offered by PDA. The test is taken by a manager or supervisor, who then receives “permits” in the form of hangtags for the company/organizational vehicles. PDA is asking persons who take the training and exam to share the information with others in their organization. Each permitted group will be provided with enough hangtags for all business vehicles used by the group.
If an organization or business in the quarantine area uses vehicles for their business activities, or actively ships materials, they need to obtain permits.
The SLF permitting process is new. It will take time to reach all organizations and businesses. PDA and its partners are working to conduct group trainings as quickly as possible. An online training and exam process is under development to make the permitting process much more accessible. Until it is available, testing sessions are provided by the local PDA regional offices.
Permitting will remain in a pilot phase until there has been sufficient opportunity for permits to be acquired. With the permitting pilot, the PA Department of Agriculture is working towards compliance assistance, rather than punitive enforcement. However, the SLF quarantine remains in effect, independent of permitting. Malicious movement of spotted lanternfly may be prosecuted under the authority of that quarantine.
We appreciate the efforts of businesses, municipalities, state and federal agencies, and residents working together in our fight against Spotted Lanternfly.