What’s the buzz around the Spotted Lanternfly?
These pests are annoying in our day-to-day lives when they fly in our face uninvited, but they are beginning to have an effect on our homes and businesses.
What is the Spotted Lanternfly?
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species indigenous to China, India and Vietnam. First found in Berks County 2014, the Spotted Lanternfly is now spreading to other counties in the commonwealth.
The Threat to Our Quality of Life
The Spotted Lanternfly can impact many crops and even alter quality of life for those living in infested areas. They excrete honeydew, which attracts such pests as bees and wasps. This excretion also results in build-up that leads to soot and fungi.
They can cause millions in damages to crops. This is extremely relevant to our agriculturally-heavy state. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, it’s estimated that if left uncontrolled, the Spotted Lanternfly could cost the state $324 million annually and more than 2,800 jobs for Pennsylvanians.
Controlling and Preventing the Spread
The PA Department of Agriculture offers residents and business owners guidance on Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Compliance, which “strictly prohibits the movement of any SLF living stage including egg masses, nymphs, and adults and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect.”
- Landscaping, remodeling or construction waste
- Logs, stumps, or any tree parts
- Firewood of any species
- Grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock
- Nursery stock
- Packing materials such as pots, crates, pallets, etc.
- Outdoor household articles including recreational vehicles, tractors and mowers, grills and furniture and their covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, any associated equipment and vehicles not stored indoors
What Do Homeowners Need to Know?
Knowing what to look for and where can be helpful in preventing the spread of Spotted Lanternflies. This Checklist for Residents can help homeowners identify what life stage the insects are in and where they might be located. It’s suggested to do a thorough search of outdoor items, especially prior to transporting them somewhere. If you spot any life stage of the Spotted Lanternfly, you’re supposed to destroy them immediately. Egg masses should be crushed, but at all life stages they can be destroyed by placing them in a container with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
Can Businesses Operate in Quarantine Zones?
If organizations are within the quarantined area, a permit is needed if their business moves regulated articles (listed above) within or outside of the quarantined area. For business owners wondering if they may need a permit, check out the PA Department of Agriculture’s list of Business Examples & Permit Needs.
Does the Spotted Lanternfly Carry Insurance Implications?
If you have any concerns about what your homeowners or business owners policy covers in regard to these types of pests, give us a call. Our Business Insurance Executives and Personal Lines Agents can assist in reviewing your policy and explaining where there may be gaps in coverage.