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Look out for Spotted Lanternfly this summer

RALEIGH ­ The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Plant Industry Division is asking travelers to several northeastern states to take precautions against the spread of the highly destructive Spotted Lanternfly this summer.

“If your summer travel plans have you driving through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware or New Jersey, please review the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine map and do your part to prevent bringing the pest to our state,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. “This invasive pest poses a significant threat to our $91.8 billion agriculture industry.”

North Carolina has no reports of the invasive pest. Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to China that could cause billions of dollars in loss to NC agriculture, tourism and trade should it become established in our state. This pest is a hitchhiker and can be easily moved long distances on vehicles, campers and outdoor equipment.

If you plan to visit any of the indicated northeastern states in which Spotted Lanternfly has been found, it is recommended you thoroughly wash and inspect your vehicles before leaving. Also, do not move firewood.

All life stages of Spotted Lanternfly can hitchhike, but the eggs and adults pose the greatest risk for movement. In northern states, adults can lay their eggs on any outdoor flat surfaces from July to December.

For more information on current counties that are under quarantine, please visit: https://nysipm.cornell.edu/environment/invasive-species-exotic-pests/spotted-lanternfly/

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