The state Department of Agriculture is intensifying efforts to contain the spread of spotted lanternflies. The timing is apt, as the invasive pest hatches throughout the region, writes Pat Ralph for Philly Voice.
The department is treating rights-of-way, such as railways and interstates, with an insecticide spray. The measure kills spotted lanternflies on contact.
Contact spraying is currently ongoing in the southeastern and south-central regions of Pennsylvania. It centers on geographies in which the pervasive insects are farthest along in their hatching cycle.
Currently, spotted lanternflies are around 50 percent hatched in the southernmost counties, according to the Department of Agriculture. The spray is most effective when 75-100 percent of the insects are already hatched.
Focus of the contact spraying is on transportation rights-of-way. The insects primarily move by hitching rides on vehicles traveling from infested areas.
“Spotted lanternflies threaten our quality of life outdoors and destroy valuable products that feed our economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “We are working diligently and strategically to control this pest in ways that are safe for the people, pollinators, plants, and animals that share the environment it threatens.”
Read more about spotted lanternflies in the Philly Voice.