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Beware of this hitchhiker during summer travels

Take precautions against bringing the Spotted Lanternfly to North Carolina

RALEIGH ­­­— The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Plant Industry Division is asking travelers to several northeastern states to take precautions against the spread of the highly destructive Spotted Lanternfly this summer. 

“If your summer travel plans have you driving through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware or New Jersey, please review the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine map and do your part to prevent bringing the pest to our state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This invasive pest poses a significant threat to our $91.8 billion agriculture industry.”

At this time, North Carolina has no reports of this invasive pest.

Spotted Lanternfly is a plant hopper native to China that could cause billions of dollars in loss to N.C. agriculture, tourism and trade should it become established in our state. This pest is a hitchhiker and can be easily moved long distances on vehicles, campers and outdoor equipment.

If you plan to visit any of the indicated northeastern states in which Spotted Lanternfly has been found, it is recommended you thoroughly wash and inspect your vehicles before leaving. Also, do not move firewood.

All life stages of Spotted Lanternfly can hitchhike, but the eggs and adults pose the greatest risk for movement. In northern states, adults can lay their eggs on any outdoor flat surfaces from July to December. 

According to the Integrated Pest Management website of Cornell University: 

  • Initial infestation found in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. Thought to have arrived on a stone shipment in 2012.
  • 14 counties in South Eastern PA are under New York State quarantine and include Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.

 

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2 replies »

  1. Thanks for this information. I looked up more information, such as what eggs and nyphs stages look like since we are very close to the area where they have been found. We will definitely check things out carefully before we head back to Ocracoke in September. Don’t want to bring them along!! As always, thanks for you excellent reporting!

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