What Virginians need to know about spotted lanternfly, and the effort to stop its spread

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesLast week, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services established a quarantine for the City of Winchester and Frederick County in an effort to prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest first detected in Winchester in 2018.

A pest of crops like grapes, apples, peaches, and hops as well as ornamental trees, spotted lanternfly threatens farmers and homeowners alike. Over the year since it was first discovered in Winchester, the species has increased its distribution from about one square mile to 16 square miles. VDACS’ quarantine targets the pest’s movement beyond its current distribution in Virginia by regulating items on which the pest may try to hitch a ride. Eric Day, manager of the Insect ID Lab in the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, and lab and research technician Theresa Dellinger share their tips for identifying and managing spotted lanternfly and for understanding the new quarantine.

For residents in Virginia outside the City of Winchester and Frederick County

To learn how to identify spotted lanternfly, visit Virginia Cooperative Extension’s spotted lanternfly page. Do you think you’ve identified a spotted lanternfly? Submit your findings.

For residents of the City of Winchester and Frederick County who plan to move outdoor household items to a location outside of the quarantine area

The spotted lanternfly quarantine regulates the movement of all of the following: recreational vehicles; lawn tractors or mowers; grills; grill or furniture covers; tarps; mobile homes; tile; stone; deck boards; outdoor furniture; children’s playhouses or playground equipment; and any vehicles, trailers, or other equipment stored outside. This list can include anything else not otherwise specified that could move spotted lanternfly life stages, including eggs. If you plan to move outdoor items out of the quarantine area, please inspect those items for spotted lanternfly. Kill any spotted lanternfly found.

There are no restrictions on the movement of these items within the quarantine area. It’s still a good idea to check for spotted lanternfly on the materials to limit the spread of spotted lanternfly.

For Christmas tree growers

Inside the current quarantine area of the City of Winchester and Frederick County: If the Christmas trees will be sold only inside the quarantine zone, there are no restrictions on their movement. If the customer lives outside the quarantine, an inspection is required. The inspection responsibility is on the business selling the commodity. Destroy any egg masses found.

Growers in the quarantine area that are shipping Christmas trees outside of the quarantine area must have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The items must be inspected and verified that they are free of all stages of the spotted lanternfly. A copy of the Spotted Lanternfly Permit and a completed inspection statement must be sent with the regulated items.

  • To obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, take the online course for the Training Credential and apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

For lawn, landscaping, and tree businesses

All plants and plant parts are considered regulated materials. This includes nursery plants; live or dead trees; green lumber; firewood; logs, stumps, or branches; mulch; composted or uncomposted chips; and bark.

Inside the current quarantine area of the City of Winchester and Frederick County: there are no restrictions on the movement of plants and plant materials within the quarantine area. It’s still a good idea to check for spotted lanternfly on the materials to limit the spread of spotted lanternfly.

Businesses moving any plants and plant materials from the quarantine area to a location outside the quarantine area must have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The items must be inspected and verified that they are free of all stages of the spotted lanternfly. Also, a copy of the Spotted Lanternfly Permit and a completed inspection statement must be sent with the regulated the items.

  • To obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, take the online course for the Training Credential and apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

For loggers and foresters

All plants and plant parts are considered regulated materials. This includes nursery plants; live or dead trees; green lumber; firewood; logs, stumps, or branches; mulch; composted or uncomposted chips; and bark.

Inside the current quarantine area of the City of Winchester and Frederick County: There are no restrictions on the movement of plants and plant materials within the quarantine area. It’s still a good idea to check for spotted lanternfly on the materials to limit the spread of spotted lanternfly.

Moving plants and plant materials from the quarantine area to locations outside the quarantine area requires a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The items must be inspected and verified that they are free of all stages of the spotted lanternfly. Also, a copy of the Spotted Lanternfly Permit and a completed inspection statement must be sent with the regulated items.

  • To obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, take the online course for the Training Credential and apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

For growers of commodities that spotted lanternfly damages or can be spread by the commodity

This includes fruit and grape growers, plant nurseries, and hops growers.

Inside the current quarantine zone of the City of Winchester and Frederick County: If the commodities will be sold only inside of the quarantine zone, there are no restrictions on their movement. It’s still a good idea to check for spotted lanternflies.

Growers shipping commodities from the quarantine area to locations outside the quarantine area must have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The items must be inspected and verified that they are free of all stages of the spotted lanternfly.  Also, a copy of the Spotted Lanternfly Permit and a completed inspection statement must be sent with the regulated items.

  • To obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, take the online course for the Training Credential and apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

For intrastate movement of regulated materials from the quarantine area to non-quarantined areas

This includes shipping, trucking, and moving firms.

Shipping regulated materials from the quarantine area to locations outside the quarantine area requires a Spotted Lanternfly Permit. The items must be inspected and verified that they are free of all stages of the spotted lanternfly. Also, a copy of the Spotted Lanternfly Permit and a completed inspection statement must be sent with the regulated items.

  • To obtain a Spotted Lanternfly Permit, take the online course for the Training Credential and apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

For intrastate movement of regulated materials originating outside the quarantine area

This includes shipping, trucking, and moving firms.

From Jan. 1 through March 31: a business may move any regulated materials that originate outside of the quarantine area through the quarantine area without any restriction.

From April 1 through Dec. 31: a business may move any regulated materials that originate outside of the quarantine area through the quarantine area as long as the regulated materials are accompanied with a waybill indicating the point of origin for the items; the shipment moves directly through the quarantine area without stopping, except for refueling or due to traffic conditions, OR if the regulated materials have been stored, packed, or handled in a manner as not posing a risk of infestation; and the regulated materials have not been combined or commingled with other articles so as to lose their individual identity.

Additional questions? Contact Eric Day or Theresa Dellinger to learn more about the quarantine and training modules: 540-231-4899 or idlab@vt.edu. Contact Mark Sutphin (masutph2@vt.edu) to learn more about local impact in Frederick County and Doug Pfeiffer (dgpfeiff@vt.edu) to learn more about spotted lanternfly’s impact on commodities like grapes, fruit trees, and hops.

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