Fort Indiantown Gap is once again a frontier of sorts with the forested area serving as a major barrier preventing the further spread of the invasive insect, the spotted lanternfly.
Fort Indiantown Gap is among the groups working to protect the state from western spread of the bugs, with employees there attending a training session earlier this month. According to Gap officials, a few individual lanternflies have been spotted in the woods of the base, but no “established populations.”
Lebanon County has been in a quarantine state during the summer months for a few years now, and if you run a business that involves intrastate commerce crossing county lines, you’ve probably run into the lanternfly permit required for such operations.
The quarantine involves registration, training, and procedures for checking surfaces for egg clusters.
The pest—a “bad bug” according to the State’s marketing campaign—has not yet been verified to be flourishing within the base’s grounds, with forestry program manager explaining in a recent training that although staff has spotted a few individual insects, no established populations have been found.
Penn State Extension will be holding a public meeting and info session about the spotted lanternfly on October 20 at 10am at its offices located at 2120 Cornwall Rd.
If you see spotted lanternfly in Lebanon County, you have a few options:
Destroy any eggs
If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. The State has a site to report any destroyed eggs.
Collect a specimen
Take a picture
Send your snapshots to Badbug@pa.gov.
Report a site
If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call the Spotted Lanternfly hotline at 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-422-3359) with information regarding your sighting. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8am to 7pm.