Because the invasive, destructive Spotted Lanternfly has established significant reproducing populations in Clarke County, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has expanded its Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine to include Clarke County.
Quarantine requires businesses that ship materials from quarantined areas to obtain Spotted Lanternfly Permits if their shipments are going to un-infested areas. By mid March 2021, VDACS’ Spotted Lanternfly quarantine area will be Clarke, Frederick, and Warren counties and the City
Businesses must complete training and submit their training credentials and completed SLF Permit Applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find information about SLF training, permit application, and inspection statements at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov//plant-industry-services.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0ZxaKRfv_MB00DOjjNeES_GTXrvnTC6Ns24-Kh1KuHom3JCDXyF7DRUC0.
All residents and business owners are encouraged to learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly and other invasive pests and plants. The Virginia Cooperative Extension also has a website dedicated to Spotted Lanternfly identification at https://ext.vt.edu/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/
If you believe you have found a Spotted Lanternfly, kill it, and then take the specimen to your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office, or send a photo to Extension Agent Mark Sutphin at email@example.com. Provide the address of the location where the insect was found. VDACS and the Cooperative Extension are tracking the insect’s movement in order to mitigate its infestation and destruction to crops.
The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) was first found in Frederick County, Va., in January 2018. By November 2019, it was in western Clarke County near the Frederick County border at Opequon Creek. The insect was found in Berryville in August 2020. The SLF is native to China, India, and Vietnam. It was introduced into South Korea in 2006 and dramatically spread to become a major agricultural pest. It was first found in the U.S. in 2014 at a Pennsylvania business that imports stone products.
While the SLF prefers to feed on Tree of Heaven, also called Ailanthus Tree, it will feed on more than 100 types of plants, including grapes, peaches, hops, and a variety of other crops. The SLF has also been reported on a range of ornamentals and can become a nuisance pest to homeowners.
The Spotted Lanternfly changes appearance quite a bit between egg mass and nymph and nymph to mature adult. Nymphs are black and white before becoming red, black and white. The adults have multi-colored wings, but are poor fliers. They are considered plant hoppers.
The insects are also hitchhikers, traveling on anything they can, including cars, trucks, and trains, which is why VDACS created the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine. Spotted Lanternfly quarantine programs currently exist in a number of states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, where the insect was first found, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Find more information at the USDA National Invasive Species Information Center, https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/terrestrial/invertebrates/
Information and images provided by Clarke County.