(By Natalie Kapustik | The Center Square contributor) – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has begun to spray insecticide to prevent the spread of the invasive spotted lanternfly, which primarily attaches to vehicles and trains to spread across the country.
The aggressive treatment is funded through the Rapid Response Disaster Readiness line of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the past two years, according to a news release from the department.
“Spotted Lanternflies threaten our quality of life outdoors and destroy valuable products that feed our economy,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in the news release. “We are working diligently and strategically to control this pest in ways that are safe for the people, pollinators, plants and animals that share the environment it threatens.”
Since 2015, the department has received $20 million in federal funding and $14 million in state investment to combat the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania.
The insecticide has been researched and found to be safe for use, the department said. Individuals on the hypersensitivity registry will be notified prior to spraying in their areas.