Add another quarantine to the list of 2020’s challenges to overcome. This year, the state of Pennsylvania has nearly doubled the number of counties placed under quarantine due to the spotted lanternfly. This travel quarantine applies to 26 Pennsylvania counties through which commercial vehicle operators must be permitted to travel.
The spotted lanternfly was first spotted in the United States in 2014 and have since rapidly expanded their U.S. population. Originating from China, India, and Vietnam, this invasive species has taken favor to many different types of fruit-bearing trees and plants on the east coast.
This year, they are back with a vengeance. Agricultural departments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey estimate 500% and 1000% increases, respectively, in the spotted lanternfly population. Projections by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences show the spotted lanternfly could cause a loss of $324 million to the state’s economy and eliminate close to 3,000 jobs.
Especially when crossing state or county lines, truck drivers should take special action to ensure they are not contributing to the spread of the insect. Instruct your drivers to complete a thorough search for spotted lanternfly nests on their equipment during their pre- and post-trip inspection…