Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In




PLNA e-News: Plants, Pests & Diseases

USDA Announces $17.5 Million for Spotted Lanternfly

Tuesday, February 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
Share |

SLFWASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is awarding $17.5 million in emergency funding to halt the spread of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF).

The pest, first identified in Berks County in 2014, has spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. SLF is a major threat to agricultural and nursery crops, particularly fruit trees and hardwoods.

Federal-State Partnership

The emergency funding will be used for a two-pronged approach to contain the SLF threat. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will monitor and control the outside of the infestation area to stop the insect from spreading while the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will work within the core infestation area to reduce SLF populations.

Perdue Recognizes Problem

"We've seen a dramatic expansion in the range of this pest over the last year and we need to take decisive action to prevent the spotted lanternfly from spreading throughout Pennsylvania and into neighboring states," USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. "We have the tools to fight this invasive insect and - together with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) - we have developed an area-wide approach that will begin before the pest starts to re-emerge in the spring."

Redding Welcomes News

“Secretary Perdue’s announcement today is welcomed news for the commonwealth, our agriculture and business communities, and the people living in infested areas,” said PDA Secretary Russell Redding. “We have been especially diligent in making the case for additional resources as the magnitude of this challenge has expanded over the past three years.

Redding continued, “We are grateful to Secretary Purdue and to his colleagues at USDA for acknowledging that need and for their significant investment and dedication to helping us control and eradicate this potentially devastating invasive pest. We are also grateful to members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation and the General Assembly who have advocated tirelessly for this funding on our behalf.”


According to USDA’s announcement today, the federal agency, through its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), will focus on managing the outer perimeter of the infestation, which as of last year covered approximately 3,000 square miles. The state Department of Agriculture will be responsible for focusing on a three-mile perimeter surrounding the core infested area. The goal of this two-pronged approach is to prevent further expansion of the infestation area and to start moving insects inward, while at the same time reducing the density of Spotted Lanternfly populations in the core-infested area.

PDA Pledges State Funding

Using this strategy will require dedicated resources for the state Department of Agriculture to fulfill its responsibility. Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf proposed nearly $1.6 million in funding specifically for Spotted Lanternfly surveillance and response as part of his fiscal year 2018-19 budget plan.

For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly click here.

Sign In

Sign Up for PLNA e-News