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Pennsylvania commits additional $3 million to battle spotted lanternfly

Most spotted lanternflies are still small, red nymphs (Photo: Pa. Dept. of Agriculture)

The Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account will provide $3 million toward the containment of the spotted lanternfly.

The news was announced Tuesday at a joint press conference held by Governor Tom Wolf, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), Penn State University, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at a wooded Harrisburg location overrun by the insects.

“This is a team effort and all hands are on deck, committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s agricultural products, preserving our quality of life, and keeping commerce flowing here in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf.

Over the past few years, Pennsylvania has allocated more than $10 million to protect business and agriculture, and the USDA recently dedicated more than $6.2 million in new funding to the state’s efforts.

Most spotted lanternflies are still small red nymphs, but adults have already been seen in some counties. Sightings of the critters can be reported online.

This May, PDA introduced the spotted lanternfly permit system to train businesses and employees on recognizing the life stages of the spotted lanternfly. Since then, the department has issued more than 900,000 permits to businesses that travel in and out of the quarantine area.

Homeowners with questions about treatment, including approved sprays, can learn more through Penn State Extension.

“It’s important that Pennsylvanians remember that they play a significant role in this fight,” said Sec. Redding. “They can treat their property with approved sprays, band their trees, or even use something as simple as a fly swatter to help control populations right in their own backyard.”

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Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

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