HARRISBURG — The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) quarantine zone now includes Dauphin County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA).
The state department said Friday in a news release that it received reports of the SLF population and actively surveyed and treated the area.
Dauphin County joins 13 other counties in the quarantine zone, which gives the PDA authority to regulate the movement of commodities that may be moving within or out of the zone. The counties include Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.
As a result of the announcement, business owners must take an online training course that will help them recognize SLF and prevent its movement, according to the news release. They will then receive a permit from the PDA.
“Whether you are a contractor, farmer, truck driver of business or rail owner, the Spotted Lanterfly can pose a risk to your business and threaten your bottom line, ” said PDA Secretary Russell Redding via the news release. “It is incumbent on Pennsylvania’s business community to obtain a permit so that we can demonstrate our due diligence to trading partners and restrict the movement of this invasive pests to other areas of the commonwealth and other states.”
Inspections and verification checks to confirm that businesses are properly permitted will begin May 1 by the department’s Bureau of Plant Industry. Failure to take the permit exam and educate employees could result in penalties and fines, the news release stated.
Secretary Redding added, “I encourage all Pennsylvania businesses to learn how they can do their part to get permitted, and for communities and homeowners to join us in this fight. This invasive insect is prone to human-assisted movement, so residents need to stay vigilant, check their vehicles, and survey their surroundings.”
A free business permit webinar will be held on Thursday, March 21 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. You can register here.
More information about the Spotted Lanternfly can be found here.