News Flash

Township News

Posted on: September 11, 2020

Spotted Lanternfly



Spotted Lanternfly Swarming Behavior

Spotted Lanternfly, having grown into adults after storing up the summer warmth and energy, are beginning to swarm. In areas of heavy populations, thousands of the invasive insect will gather en masse on trees, houses and other tall structures, to launch themselves into the wind and glide, looking for food and a safe place to lay their eggs. This intense flurry of activity comes as the cooling weather informs the lanternfly that the time has come to prepare for the next generation. While lanternfly do not pose a danger to humans, this display disrupts outdoor activity and will cause many to retreat indoors.

These swarming events also give researchers a good idea of where large populations might exist today, and where egg masses will likely be found in the winter months. Reporting these swarms via the Public Reporting Tool will aid researchers and treatment staff alike; both to pinpoint areas for study and to target areas to treat next season.

Why should you report Spotted Lanternfly?

In 2019, more than 90,000 reports were made to the PA Department of Agriculture’s Public Reporting Tool, hosted by Penn State Extension, with the majority coming in after the Spotted Lanternfly adults appeared, and peaking during the September swarm. In 2020, we have seen a 50-80% increase in the number of early season reports compared to 2019. But what does the PA Department of Agriculture and their partners do with these reports and the data associated with them?

As noted above, one way this reporting data is used is to help determine where large populations of lanternfly exist, and where we can expect to find their egg masses. By asking the public to report the approximate numbers of lanternfly they see we can begin to get a true idea of the size of populations over an area. The Department of Agriculture also closely follows up on reports outside the known quarantine areas to find new populations, determine pathways for spread and improve our prediction models for where Spotted Lanternfly might be found next.

Please note that most people who report a Spotted Lanternfly sighting will not be contacted. The data provided is used to help the Pennsylvania Spotted Lanternfly Program partners better understand this invasive pest.

By having Commonwealth residents’ support in reporting Spotted Lanternfly, we can work together to slow the spread of this invasive insect!

Report- Identify- Manage

Businesses play an important role in stopping Spotted Lanternfly spread 

We need everyone to protect their properties, communities, and the Commonwealth from this invasive insect that has the potential to change our landscape and quality of life. Businesses play an important role. Business owners should incorporate pest control into their vegetation management plans and work to minimize the possibility of this insect hitching a ride on vehicles or in products.

All agricultural and non-agricultural businesses located or working within the quarantine, which move products, vehicles or other conveyances within or from the quarantine are required to have a SLF Permit. Visit the SLF Quarantine & Permitting page for permitting program information and industry best management practices.

Do I Need a Permit?

What you need to know about Permit Renewals

All permit holders have been issued a paper permit (blue and white trifold). The permit is valid until you receive a renewal notification, which may be more than one year from the time of course completion.

How do I renew? 

If you have a blue and white paper permit, no further action is needed.

If you have not received a paper permit, email

When does my permit expire?

Permits do not have an expiration date.

Do I have to retake the permit course and exam?

No re-training or re-testing is required.

Spotted lanternfly task force brings together expertise of scientists, agencies 

Since its unwelcome arrival in Pennsylvania several years ago, the spotted lanternfly has been eating away at agricultural commodities, landscapes and the commonwealth’s bottom line.
Putting an end to the pest’s feast is the charge of the Cooperative Spotted Lanternfly Program in Pennsylvania. The task force, which has been meeting since the initial pest sightings, includes scientists and extension specialists from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and government regulatory officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, referred to as APHIS.

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