Spotted Lanternfly

Central Pa. Growers And Researchers Work To Stop The Spotted Lanternfly

53 minutes ago

Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery owner Barbara Christ stands among ten acres of grapevines on neat rows of trellises.

She points to a post at the end of one row of vines as a perfect location for an unwelcome visitor.

“They would definitely lay egg masses on something like this," she said. 

Christ is a retired Penn State plant pathology professor whose research focused on plant diseases. As a vineyard owner, she’s keeping an eye out for the spotted lanternfly.

“It could be extremely devastating to an operation like ours,” Christ said. 

Forget 'Kumbaya:' Camp Kids Help Fight Spotted Lanternfly

Aug 13, 2018
PA Dept. of Agriculture

Summer camp is a place for friendship bracelets, nature walks and bug juice.

But at one program in southeast Pennsylvania, children were given a whole new experience.

They were taught how to find, then crush the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that has become enemy No. 1 in the state.

The weeklong program, themed Hunt for the Spotted Lanternfly, was created by Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos, a Pottstown group, in partnership with other organizations.

About 27 children and their families participated in the program that ended on a recent Friday.

PA Dept. of Agriculture

Pennsylvania agriculture officials are working to control the spread of the spotted lanternfly.

WHTM-TV reports the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday explained the containment plan Monday in Harrisburg. According to officials, $3 million in state funds and $17.5 million in federal funding will go towards education and research. The state will conduct a $1.9 million survey to make sure the insect isn't spreading.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Producer's Note: This is the final *weekly* episode of 90.5 WESA's The Confluence. The team is taking a short hiatus and returning as a daily program Monday, August 27, 2018. Look for it live Monday through Friday from 9-10 a.m. Eastern.

In the wake of President Trump's Supreme Court nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic senators and civil rights advocates have been quick to voice their opposition.

Have You Seen This Bad Bug?

Mar 1, 2018
Lawrence Barringer / Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

In the summer of 2014, a Pennsylvania game commission officer named Frank Strathmeyer spotted a bug he’d never seen before in Berks County. It was about an inch long, with dark spots and red hind wings. He called it in to the state.

 

“And lo and behold it became our first discovery of spotted lanternfly in the northern hemisphere,” says Strathmeyer. “Not just in Pennsylvania, but in all of North America.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania.

The invasive species was first spotted in District Township in 2014. It has since spread to 12 counties and threatens the state's $18 billion grape, orchard and logging industries.

In an announcement Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says "decisive action" was needed to stop the insect from spreading to neighboring states.

Pennsyvlania Department of Agriculture

Invasive insects can have devastating impacts on native plants and trees, as evidenced by the Emerald Ash Borer’s effect on the state’s ash trees.

That insect was first found in Michigan in 2002; it continued to spread and has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees nationwide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Now there’s another bug to worry about – the Spotted Lanterfly. The pest was first spotted last fall in Berks County.

“We believe it’s been here a season or two, so it can live here, it can survive here, it’s been tested,” said Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary. “What we want to do is send it packing.”

Five townships and two boroughs in Berks County have been placed under quarantine by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly, which was found for the first time in North America in the county earlier this fall.

The quarantine prohibits residents from moving any material or object that could help the spread of the insect, which attacks grapes, apples, stone fruits as well as pines.