The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today the expansion of its spotted lanternfly quarantine to include 17 additional counties and Baltimore City. The quarantine restricts the movement of regulated articles that may contain the spotted lanternfly in any of its life stages, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults.
The expansion of the quarantine zone is due to the spotted lanternfly’s continued impact on agriculture operations throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The original quarantine order from 2019 included Cecil and Harford counties, which have established spotted lanternfly populations. In early 2022, the quarantine zone was expanded to nine additional jurisdictions based on the confirmed existence of known spotted lanternfly populations in these areas.
MDA Secretary Kevin Atticks stated that “The department continues to take steps to expand the quarantine zone out of an abundance of caution as we remain vigilant in controlling the spread of this destructive insect.”
Businesses, municipalities, and government agencies that require the movement of any regulated item within or from the quarantine zone must have a specialized permit. The permit may be obtained by taking a free online training course and exam through PennState Extension. Examples of regulated articles include landscaping, remodeling, or construction waste; packing materials like wood boxes or crates; plants and plant parts; vehicles; and other outdoor items.
Managers, supervisors, or employees of a business or organization operating in the quarantine zone must receive the approved training and pass the exam to demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of pest and quarantine requirements.
All spotted lanternfly permits for Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are transferable and valid throughout the region.
The spotted lanternfly poses a significant threat to the region’s agricultural industries as it feeds on over 70 different types of crops and plants, including grapes, hops, apples, peaches, oak, pine, and many others. Originally from Asia, the spotted lanternfly was first detected in Berks County, Pennsylvania in fall 2014. As a known hitchhiker, the spotted lanternfly has also spread to Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
Those living within the quarantine zone are encouraged to be vigilant in containing the spread of spotted lanternfly. Sightings may be reported through MDA’s online survey. Other informational materials are available on the program’s website.