APHIS fights spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania

Last year, an invasive pest known as the spotted lanternfly was found in the United States for the first time ever in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Tucked away in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Berks County may seem an unlikely location to find a foreign pest, but with today’s global economy unwanted pests can show up almost anywhere.

In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) to stop this pest from spreading.  APHIS has already contributed more than $1 million in Farm Bill funding to support the response effort in Pennsylvania, and PDA quickly established a quarantine area and regulated the movement of potential host material to help protect other communities.

Not only does APHIS have the steadfast support of PDA, but Berks County’s citizens have also stepped up to help.  Along with PDA employees, they are putting sticky bands around host trees to catch the pest and identify its full range. They are also conducting extensive outreach to educate the local community about the spotted lanternfly. This unprecedented level of cooperation gives us a real chance of successfully eradicating this invasive pest before it has the chance to spread to other towns and States.

– See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/06/22/aphis-partners-with-pennsylvania-to-fight-the-spotted-lanternfly/#sthash.d8vG1Sri.dpuf

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