PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It appears spring has really sprung — daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and insects are buzzing.
When it comes to the latter, Uncle Sam wants your help in making sure invasive insects don’t spread, and invasive plants don’t take root.
USDA Senior Invasive Species Coordinator Samantha Simon said this is the time of year when 20 insect species, known as “hungry pests,” emerge.
“The good news is that Pennsylvania doesn’t have all 20,” she said. “However, Pennsylvania does have two that are under federal quarantine: the emerald ash borer beetle and the European gypsy moth. You also have the spotted lanternfly, where there’s a state quarantine in place right now.”
The quarantine applies to 14 Pennsylvania counties.
“They like to hitchhike from place to place — on our cars, trucks, hidden in fruits, plants, firewood, mulch,” Simon added. “Before you leave, make sure you check your vehicle, make sure that you check yourself. You do not want to have these little bugs hitchhiking a ride to a non-quarantine zone.”
For help identifying invasive species, Simon suggests visiting hungrypests.com.
“That website will tell you what threatens your state, gives you information about the signs and symptoms and what you can do, and it also gives you information on reporting the pests.”
There’s also additional information regarding the spotted lanternfly quarantine.
“For Pennsylvania, with the spotted lanternfly, there’s a new business action kit that’s available,” she said. “That tool kit is really important for businesses. We’re asking them to help us stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly.”