US: Pennsylvania asks public to help control spotted lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly, an inch-long black, red and white spotted insect native to South-east Asia was first identified in the state of Pennsylvania in 2014. Now, thirteen counties in south-eastern Pennsylvania are under quarantine, including Berks, Lancaster, and Lebanon. At the same time, state and federal agriculture officials are asking for the public's help to control the spread of the spotted lanternfly, as the insect threatens Pennsylvania's businesses, trade, and economy.

The U.S. and state departments of Agriculture are asking people to be on the lookout for the bug now that eggs are beginning to hatch. Officials especially want to know if the pest is spotted somewhere outside of the quarantine area.

“This pest is a great hitchhiker and can travel on items residents and businesses move," said Kevin Shea, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator. "You can help stop the spread by looking for and reporting any signs of this damaging insect."

As described on, the spotted lanternfly is a threat to hardwood timber including oak, maple, poplar, and walnut. It also feeds on fruits such as apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches and plums.

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