The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive insect pest that was discovered in Frederick County, Virginia, in January 2018 and at that time, it was just the second known detection of the spotted lanternfly in the U. S. The first occurrence of spotted lanternfly in the U. S. occurred in Pennsylvania in 2014. It is a native insect of Asia and prefers feeding on Tree of Heaven, but it will also feed on grapes, peaches, apples, maples, walnuts, hops, cucumbers, and basil. The Spotted Lanternfly also has the potential to be a serious nuisance pest to homeowners when it is present in high numbers.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced an expansion of the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine that will take place in early-July 2022 and they have provided advance notification so that those impacted by the expansion will be able to meet the permitting and shipping requirements of the quarantine. The quarantine will be expanded to include the following cities and counties: Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas, Staunton, Waynesboro, Albemarle, Augusta, Carroll, Page, Prince William, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, and Wythe. The quarantine already includes the city of Winchester, and the counties of Clarke, Warren, and Frederick.
Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to spread to un-infested areas, either through natural means or through artificial spread. Under provisions of the quarantine, regulated articles are prohibited from moving out of the quarantined area unless in accordance with requirements of a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. Regulated articles include, but are not limited to:
- Any life stage of the Spotted Lanternfly;
- Live or dead trees; nursery stock; green lumber; firewood; logs; perennial plants; garden plants or produce; stumps; branches; mulch; or composted or uncomposted chips, bark, or yard waste;
- Outdoor industrial or construction materials or equipment; concrete barriers or structures; stone, quarry material, ornamental stone, or concrete; or construction, landscaping, or remodeling waste;
- Shipping containers, such as wood crates or boxes;
- Outdoor household articles, including recreational vehicles; lawn tractors or mowers; grills; grill or furniture covers; tarps; mobile homes; tile; stone; deck boards; or
- Any equipment, trucks, or vehicles not stored indoors; any means of conveyance utilized for movement of an article; any vehicle; or any trailer, wagon.
One the quarantine has been expanded, businesses located in the cities and counties listed above, and also those located in the existing quarantine covering the City of Winchester and the Counties of Clarke, Warren and Frederick, that are shipping these regulated articles to locations outside of the quarantined area must follow requirements of the Spotted Lanternfly Quarnatine.
The Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine requires a permit to ensure that businesses are taking steps to guarantee regulated articles are free from spotted lanternfly. To obtain a spotted lanternfly permit, completions of an online training course is required and businesses must then apply for the permit with VDACS. Information on where to take the training, how to obtain a permit, and additional permitting steps can be found on the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension also has a website dedicated to the Spotted Lanternfly.