Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine
What is the Spotted Lanternfly and Why Should Residents be Concerned?
Spotted Lanternfly Lycorma delicatula is native to China, but was first discovered domestically in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Burke County, in 2014. They feed on the phloem of a plant, which carries the sugars that plants produce and use to live. As a result of feeding, Spotted Lanternflies excrete the sugary waste, which covers plants, trees, and any hard surfaces, vehicles, and paving located beneath trees. The falling material becomes a nuisance making everything sticky, developing a fungus called sooty mold, which grows on the sugars turning any hard surface underneath trees black.
Under the Maryland quarantine, businesses—including tree and landscape contractors—and public agencies are required to register their vehicles and apply for a permit to transport “regulated articles” such as: landscaping, remodeling or construction waste; packing materials (e.g., wood crates, boxes); all plants and plant parts, including logs, stumps, firewood, yard waste or any tree parts; outdoor household items like lawn mowers, chairs, grills, tarps, tile, stone, or deck boards/materials; trucks, RVs or other vehicles not stored inside.
The general public—including homeowners—are required to complete and carry in their vehicle a written checklist before moving items that may carry the insect or egg masses. The checklist is a form that may be downloaded from the Village website. Anyone traveling within or from the quarantine area must recognize and inspect for all forms (egg masses, nymphs, adults) of Spotted Lanternfly on any items that may carry the insect and maintain the required checklist while transporting the regulated articles. Homeowners should also ensure their landscape and tree maintenance contractors have received the quarantine permit. A list of permit holders is available on the state website.
Spotted Lanternfly is not a “fly”, but a bug related to cicadas. They feed on fruit crops, ornamental plants, and trees. The bug can cause significant losses to commercial fruit crops. Feeding may not cause the death of ornamental plants and trees, but may damage or stress landscape plants.
Spotted Lanternfly is primarily spread by being carried from place to place by human activity. The pest lives overwinter in the egg masses. Egg masses may be deposited on any hard surfaces, walls, trees, etc., and may be carried away on trash cans, outdoor furniture, grill propane tanks, etc. Hundreds of Spotted Lanternflies are transported in egg masses, but the nymphs, and adult insects may also be transported.
Infestations of Spotted Lanternfly cannot be effectively managed. The insect exists in such overwhelming numbers chemical or organic pesticides are useless. The population control recommendation is to scrape egg masses off surfaces and soak them in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. The hope is, over time, an existing or introduced predator or parasite will begin to control the pest naturally.
Spotted Lanternfly may take several more years to build up populations in the Village, but everyone should be aware of the insect and report any first sightings. Click on the below links for more information.
- MD Department of Agriculture Expands Quarantine Area (March 6, 2023)
- MD Department of Agriculture Spotted Lanternfly reporting
- MD Department of Agriculture Spotted Lanternfly Webpage
- Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Fact Sheet
- MD Quarantine Zone Expansion Press Release (January 20, 2022)
- University of MD Video
- University of MD Resource Site
Landscapers and tree maintenance contractors must receive training prior to transporting “regulated articles” such as: landscaping, remodeling or construction waste; packing materials (e.g., wood crates, boxes); all plants and plant parts, including logs, stumps, firewood, yard waste or any tree parts; outdoor household items like lawn mowers, chairs, grills, tarps, tile, stone, or deck boards/materials; trucks, RVs or other vehicles not stored inside.