The spotted lanternfly is an invasive exotic species of leaf-hopper introduced originally from Asia. In the United States, the Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the grape, tree fruit, plant nursery and timber industries. In Pennsylvania specifically, this pest poses a significant threat to the state’s grape, apple, and stone fruit industries, as well as the hardwood industry.
This invasive pest was first identified in Pennsylvania in 2014. While there are no known impacts on public health, this discovery has prompted a mandatory quarantine of certain items due to the potential impacts on agricultural commodities.
What are the County Parks doing?
Because the Spotted Lanternfly prefers to feed on the invasive tree of heaven, Parks staff have begun removing all of the female species of this particular tree at Black Rock Sanctuary, Hibernia Park, Struble Trail, Linfield Basin, and Sanatoga Basin. A few large male trees have been left standing. Beginning in April, 2018, Parks staff will treat the remaining male trees with an insecticide to coincide with the flowing of the sap into leaves and twigs in the spring. The timing of the treatment coincides with the nymph stage of the Spotted Lantern Fly and its feeding habits.