The Spotted Lanternfly Has Prompted Quarantine In New York State

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Officials in New York State have enacted a quarantine to mitigate the spread of the spotted lanternfly. This quarantine restricts the movement of certain goods from four states already impacted by the invasive insect species.

As the moth-like pests frequently travel on landscaping equipment and debris, the quarantine is focused on restricting the movement of yard waste, firewood, wooden crates, fruit, produce, and nursery stock. The quarantine also applies to larger items, including grills, tarps, vehicles stored outdoors, and agricultural equipment of the variety that Kubota has produced since 1890.

These restrictions apply to listed goods that are moving into New York from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. Those who are transporting the goods will need documentation of the shipment’s origin and destination. Around the state, the Department of Agriculture will have compliance checks. Officials are encouraging anyone who visits any of the infested states to check their vehicles for lanternfly egg masses and to remove them before leaving the state.

Spotted lanternflies like to hop on a variety of different cargo. Industries that need to be careful of inadvertently giving the lanternflies a ride to New York include construction, remodeling, landscaping, and lumber. For major powerhouses like the lumber industry, which has seen over 3 trillion board feet of lumber milled in the U.S. since 1900, the quarantine will present a slight obstacle to efficient transportation of goods.

These precautions have been required for many since the spotted lanternfly was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2014. The invasive species is originally from Asia, but its unusual hitchhiking abilities have allowed it to travel to New Jersey and Delaware as well. One adult insect has been discovered in a vehicle in New York’s Capital District and another adult insect was reported on a property on Keuka Lake.

Due to the insect’s nature to follow one of their own to a new location and due to New York’s close proximity to the infested states, officials are on high alert. The spotted lanternfly poses a big threat to the agricultural industry, as it feeds on over 70 plant species. As they feed on plants, the plants become stressed. This leaves them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects.

According to the release regarding the quarantine, the spotted lanternfly secretes large amounts of sticky honeydew, which attracts sooty molds that disrupt plant photosynthesis. The honeydew also attracts swarms of other insects. The spotted lanternfly can also negatively affect the craft beer brewing industry, as it feeds on and kills hops.