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Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50 million annually


State College, PA – A large, colorful pest from Asia (called the Spotted Lanternfly) is costing the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million and eliminating nearly 500 jobs each year.

That’s according to a Penn State study released Thursday.

The study represents researchers’ first attempt to quantify the destruction caused by the spotted lanternfly.

It was first detected in the U.S. in 2014, in Pennsylvania’s Berks County. It’s since overrun the state’s southeastern corner and spread into nearby states including New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia.

Penn State economists estimated the financial impact on industries most susceptible to spotted lanternfly, including nurseries, vineyards, Christmas tree growers and hardwood producers.


Pennsylvania – An invasive species of insect is destroying crops in Pennsylvania, but you can help stop it from spreading.

The spotted lanternfly attacks fruit and some ornamental plants, and it can severely damage crops like grapes and apples.

Since its first PA sighting in Berks County in 2014, there are now 13 counties in our state (Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill) that are under quarantine because of the spotted Lanternfly.

Learn more about the spotted lanternfly at the PA Department of Agriculture’s page about it.

Listen to the interview with Senator Judy Swank from Berks County, where the insect was first seen in Pennsylvania.

The “tree-of-heaven” seems to be the preferred tree of the spotted lanternfly, so destroying this tree with the help of a professional is a great step in preventing spotted lanternflies from spreading.

Homeowners can also help get rid of the spotted lanternflies by scraping their eggs off trees and destroying them, and by putting sticky tape such as duct tape (sticky side out) around the trunks of trees to trap and kill the lanternflies.

If you think you’ve seen the lanternfly in your area and want to get advice on how to stop it from destroying your fruit, call 1-888-4-BADBUG or 1-888-4-BADFLY.

Spotted lanternfly and eggs, courtesy of PA Department of Agriculture

spotted lanternfly invasive