Penn State employees traveling in lanternfly quarantine zone must take training

April 02, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The spotted lanternfly has expanded its reach in Pennsylvania, prompting a reminder to Penn State employees about their role in stopping the spread of the pest.

“Containing this horrible insect while longer-term management solutions are found is important, and every person in Pennsylvania plays a role,” said Lysa Holland, environmental compliance engineer in the Environmental Health and Safety office. “A small investment of time by our staff in learning how to help stop the spread of this pest will have a big impact.”

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that first arrived in the U.S. in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The planthopper, native to Asia, has the potential to harm Pennsylvania's economy by damaging crops, landscapes and natural ecosystems, including the grape, hardwood and nursery industries.

Pennsylvania’s recently expanded spotted lanternfly quarantine zone encompasses the following 34 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.

All Penn State employees whose work duties require travel to, from and within the quarantine zone must take an online class on the spotted lanternfly at https://lrn.psu.edu. Content was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in partnership with Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

When traveling within or leaving the quarantine zone, employees must do a quick inspection of the vehicle they are using and document it on an inspection log, Holland said. This log and other related materials are part of spotted lanternfly kits, which are available from safety officers and/or spotted lanternfly designated employees in each college/unit. Those using a short-term fleet rental should request a spotted lanternfly kit when picking up the vehicle.

Additionally, the state Department of Agriculture advises people traveling within the quarantine zone to keep a spotted lanternfly checklist in their vehicles. By signing the checklist, residents are indicating that they have inspected their vehicles for the presence of the spotted lanternfly and have removed any present. A copy of the checklist can be downloaded here.

Penn State has been at the forefront of the effort to stop the spotted lanternfly invasion, which could decimate Pennsylvania crops and trees, noted Penn State President Eric Barron. “I’m grateful that so many Penn Staters have already completed the training that is helping contain this invasive pest,” he said. “I urge everyone traveling to quarantined regions to ensure that they are not carrying the insect with them. Thank you for taking this threat seriously.”

More information about Penn State procedures for implementing the spotted lanternfly quarantine can be found on the Environmental Health and Safety website at https://ehs.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly/overview.

To learn more about the spotted lanternfly, permitting regulations, management techniques and how to report a sighting, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 18, 2021