Archive for the ‘Quarantine’ Category

NZ: Stink bugs at the border

As well as fruit flies, we are currently in the high-risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). The season started in September and to date there have been two BMSB finds, compared to six for the same period last season. Both finds were at the border, by Quarantine Officers at Auckland Airport.

One of the finds was at a search bench where passengers from multiple fights from the USA were being processed; and the other was on an aircraft which had just arrived from South Korea.

More detail can be read in the latest KVH risk update for BMSB.

The risk period for BMSB stretches throughout the summer so remember to be on the lookout and report anything unusual. Information and videos about the risks this bug poses are available on the KVH website.

Publication date: Thu 10 Nov 2022

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Global spread of powdery mildew through migration and trade

Date:August 3, 2022 Source: University of Zurich Summary: The worldwide distribution of one of the most important cereal pathogens is the result of human activity. Researchers have traced the history and spread of wheat powdery mildew along wheat trade routes and found that mixing of genetic ancestries of related powdery mildew species played a central role in the evolution and adaptation of the pathogen.Share:


The worldwide distribution of one of the most important cereal pathogens is the result of human activity. Researchers at the University of Zurich have traced the history and spread of wheat powdery mildew along wheat trade routes and found that mixing of genetic ancestries of related powdery mildew species played a central role in the evolution and adaptation of the pathogen.

Wheat is one of the world’s most important staple foods — its significance for global food security was recently thrown into focus by the loss of grain exports from Ukraine due to the war. A more common threat to crops are fungal diseases, which can result in economic losses and famine. One of the most destructive pathogens is powdery mildew, a fungus which drastically reduces crop yields.

Agricultural arms race

To prevent infestation, huge sums are currently invested in the breeding of mildew-resistant grain varieties. In order to infect the crop plant, the pathogen must be an optimal match for its host — with resistant varieties, the fungus cannot attack. But powdery mildew constantly and rapidly adapts to new hosts. To be able to keep the disease under control in the long term, it is vital that scientists gain a better understanding of the pathogen. This is where historical data is crucial: powdery mildew is as old as wheat itself, but until now, it was not known how it had been able to spread worldwide on different grains.

A modern globetrotter

A research team led by Thomas Wicker and Beat Keller of the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Evolution in Action at the University of Zurich has now managed to uncover the secret of the wheat mildew’s success. To do so, they compared the genetic composition of 172 powdery mildew strains from 13 countries on five continents. “With our analyses we were able to prove that the mildew first appeared around 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, which is also the birthplace of agriculture and modern wheat,” explains Alexandros Georgios Sotiropoulos, PhD candidate at the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. “In the Stone and Bronze Ages, agriculture spread to Europe and Asia. The pathogen was also spread to these new regions through human migration and trade. Around 300 years ago, European settlers introduced powdery mildew along with wheat to North and South America.”

Adaptation through rapid evolution

The data confirmed what had previously been suspected: as wheat was introduced to more and more corners of the Earth, powdery mildew was brought with it and underwent hybridization along the way, i.e. it genetically mixed with local powdery mildew species and formed hybrids that are better adapted to local agricultural environments. “This appears to be the cause of the rapid evolution of powdery mildew’s pathogenicity,” explains Kentaro Shimizu, co-director of the URPP. “A particularly clear example of this is seen in the many American wheat varieties brought to Japan over the past 120 years for cross-breeding with traditional East Asian wheat. The powdery mildew from the USA, which was also imported, hybridized with the resident Japanese mildew strains, and the resulting hybrids successfully attacked newly bred wheat varieties.”

To study the spread of powdery mildew, researchers used theoretical analyses originally created to study the evolutionary history of humankind. “Our study shows once again that collaboration between academic disciplines and the use of unconventional methods to research complex topics offers great potential and has implications for modern crop breeding,” says Kentaro Shimizu.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of ZurichNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Alexandros G. Sotiropoulos, Epifanía Arango-Isaza, Tomohiro Ban, Chiara Barbieri, Salim Bourras, Christina Cowger, Paweł C. Czembor, Roi Ben-David, Amos Dinoor, Simon R. Ellwood, Johannes Graf, Koichi Hatta, Marcelo Helguera, Javier Sánchez-Martín, Bruce A. McDonald, Alexey I. Morgounov, Marion C. Müller, Vladimir Shamanin, Kentaro K. Shimizu, Taiki Yoshihira, Helen Zbinden, Beat Keller, Thomas Wicker. Global genomic analyses of wheat powdery mildew reveal association of pathogen spread with historical human migration and tradeNature Communications, 2022; 13 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-31975-0

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. “Global spread of powdery mildew through migration and trade.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2022. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220803112605.htm>.

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Learning from Plant Protection Regulatory Data and Fall Armyworm in Africa

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profile image of Esther Ngumbi

EEFS Project 

Esther Ngumbi

Jul 19, 2018

Photo by Fintrac Inc.

This post was co-authored with Esther Ngumbi.

Fueled by climate change and global trade, the threat from invasive pests to countries in which the pests were not present or previously reported will continue to increase, with many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries expected to be the most vulnerable. Reliable pest management and robust pest control at country borders are critical and go hand in hand with strong agricultural and agribusiness sectors. Strong plant protection regulatory frameworks have an important role to play to facilitate safe trade and help safeguard agriculture. As countries build these regulatory frameworks, they need data and information to drive decision-making. This post explores findings from a technical note funded by USAID’s Office of Market and Partnership Innovations which examined plant protection data available through the World Bank’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture Index for Feed the Future focus countries and countries in SSA. We take a particular look at its relevance for the current Fall Armyworm outbreak in Africa and strengthening plant protection systems in the future.

Recap on Fall Armyworm in Africa

Africa continues to battle an outbreak of invasive, transboundary pests including the Fall Armyworm (FAW). This pest was first reported in mainland West Africa (Nigeria, Togo, Benin) and on the island of Sao Tome in early 2016 and is now confirmed in many African countries, including several Feed the Future countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. FAW in Africa has caused significant damage to maize crops in particular. According to a 2017 report by Day et al., annual economic losses in 12 maize-producing African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) are estimated to be between $2.5 and $6.2 billion. Invasion by FAW will further impact international trade, since countries where the pest has not yet been detected are expected to place additional production or handling requirements on exports from FAW-affected countries. Affected countries in Africa are prioritizing immediate and long-term solutions to mitigate and contain the devastating impacts of FAW. To learn more about this issue, check out a recent article here.

World Bank’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture

The World Bank’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) 2017 data, collected across 62 countries, provides important and timely inputs for policymakers as well as private and public sector actors across agricultural and agribusiness value chains. Launched in 2013, the EBA datasets measure and score the strength of the legal and institutional environment for agribusinesses. In 2017, this included 62 economies scored across eight topic indicators including: seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, water, and information and communications technology. [1] It can support the identification of barriers that impede agricultural sector regulation and growth and provide a way to benchmark, track, and monitor progress and reforms made by countries over time. A subset of the markets data included a Plant Protection Index. For more information, check out the EBA methodology and consult the technical note on Plant Protection Data in Action for a closer look at the EBA Plant Protection Index analysis for Feed the Future focus countries and SSA.

Plant Protection System Strengthening for Prevention and Response to Fall Armyworm in Africa

Many African countries, research institutions, aid organizations, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN have been on the frontlines addressing the FAW invasion. They have implemented many immediate solutions, including ramping up efforts to rapidly identify pests, assess its geographic extent, create awareness, and initiate control responses and measures to contain outbreaks. However, owing to their short-term nature, many of these actions will cease when the pest is no longer considered invasive. And many of these efforts are challenged by the fact that they can only go so far given the limitations of the enabling environment. The data provided through EBA offers important contextual information that could be used to direct multipronged response options and to tailor and prioritize optimal response options for the current enabling environment in a given country.

Moving forward, Feed the Future and SSA countries must strengthen their national plant protection regulatory frameworks to effectively deal with future invasive and transboundary pests and pathogens. By implementing recommended best practices such as rigorous pest surveillance, pest risk analysis and updated lists of quarantined pests, countries can strengthen their plant protection regulation frameworks and their ability to deal with future invasive and transboundary pests.

Illustrative Data-Driven Actions to Strengthen Plant Protection Systems 

The following actions were identified as ways African countries can utilize available data and best practices: 

  • Designate a national plant protection unit that will set national standards, guidelines and protocols to implement the phytosanitary systems; conduct pest and plant surveillance; enforce border inspections of plant consignments; create and maintain updated lists of regulated and quarantine pests; and make these lists available to the public and other stakeholders. 
  • Produce yearly reports of the progress African countries make toward improving the key weaknesses identified and increasing their plant protection index scores.
  • Hold annual or biannual regional technical training workshops. These workshops — facilitated by IPPC staffers together with experts from countries that have strong plant regulatory frameworks — could bring together national plant protection employees, border control staffers and research/university scientists. 
  • The World Bank, in partnership with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and stakeholders like USAID, to create regional online repositories to host resources, tools and other information, including pest identification manuals, lists of regulated quarantine pests, pest databases, border inspection manuals, and any other materials that is related to plant pests including regulated and quarantined pests. 
  • Create harmonized regional protocols and procedures and further establish regional pest diagnostic labs to help in the diagnostics of key regulated pests.
  • Build pest databases by major crop with accompanying pictures of the listed insects, their host information, life cycle, distribution, current status and available recommended control measures.
  • Allocate enough funding and resources to designated national agencies, so that they can rigorously and effectively carry out comprehensive pest surveillance. Furthermore, countries should develop coherent and coordinated dissemination of information about pests within and between countries.
  • Create lists of regulated quarantine pests and upload them both on a national plant protection agency website and the IPPC website. 
  • Countries and national plant protection agencies must obligate landowners to report pest and pest outbreaks, and there must be penalties for failing to comply.

Stay tuned for more from the World Bank EBA team and more useful resources utilizing EBA from the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security projects in posts to follow! 

[1] Countries are scored across topic indicators according to their performance against a global ideal or distance to the frontier (DTF) on a scale of 0-100, with a larger DTF score indicating better performance in that area. Topic indicator scores are an average of the DTF score for each of the topic’s 1-5 indicators. See also DTF Scoring Basics Technical Note. Gender, livestock, environmental sustainability and land indicator data were added this year but are available for a more limited set of countries and are not yet scored. Please consult the EBA website for information about the evolution of these indicators as part of EBA.FILED UNDER:MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND LEARNINGPOLICY AND GOVERNANCE

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Registration is open for the IPPC webinar series on Fall Armyworm Training Material

Posted on Mon, 27 Sep 2021, 16:16Responsive image

IPPC Secretariat invites interested users to register for the “Fall Armyworm Training Material: FAO/IPPC Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Guidelines for Spodoptera frugiperda webinar series. (Please register individually for all three sessions in the series)

Webinar 1: 22 October 12:00-13:30 (CET) Register here

Content: Introduction, General launch and guidelines presentation, including FAW distribution and biology

Webinar 2: 19 November 12:00-13:30 (CET) Register here

Content: Fall Armyworm Prevention and Preparedness (When FAW is still absent from a country)

Webinar 3: 10 December 12:00-13:30 (CET) Register here

Content: Fall Armyworm Response and Communication (When FAW has been officially detected and confirmed by a country)

Webinars are addressed to Quarantine and biosecurity experts, NPPOs and RPPOs staffs, researchers supporting NPPOs, producer associations, technical assistance organizations, manufacturers of technical means of control, and surveillance.

The webinar will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into French and Arabic.

To consult the detailed program and more information, please visit: https://www.ippc.int/en/news/workshops-events/webinars/fall-armyworm-faw-training-part-1-22-october-part-2-19-november-and-part-3-10-december/…..

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APHIS expands the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) quarantine areas in Cameron County, Texas

Effective July 14, 2021, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) expanded the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantines in the cities of Brownsville and Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area.

Between June 25 and July 14, 2021, APHIS confirmed the detections of 87 adult Mexflies in Brownsville and Harlingen. Although the detections were within the Brownsville and Harlingen quarantines, some detections were close enough to the perimeters of the quarantines to trigger expansion of the quarantines. Traps in residential areas, in a variety of dooryard citrus (grapefruit, key lime, lemon, sour orange and sweet orange) and stone fruit trees (mango and peach), accounted for 69 of the 87 detections. The remaining 18 detections were from traps in commercial grapefruit and sweet orange groves.

With these detections, the Brownsville quarantine expanded from 229 square miles with 888 acres of commercial citrus to approximately 446 square miles with 1,412 acres of commercial citrus. This is an expansion of the Brownsville quarantine of approximately 217 square miles with 524 acres of commercial citrus. The Harlingen quarantine expanded from 192 square miles with 2,079 acres of commercial citrus to approximately 231 square miles with 2,095 acres of commercial citrus. This is an expansion of the Harlingen quarantine of 39 square miles with 16 acres of commercial citrus.

APHIS and TDA established the original Cameron County quarantine following the confirmed detections, between January 14 and February 3, 2020, of 80 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and two commercial groves. By establishing the quarantine, APHIS and TDA restricted interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols.

The following website contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas:


For more information:
Richard Johnson
Tel: 301-851-2109.

Publication date: Wed 18 Aug 2021

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Steve Reinholt of Starr Ranch Growers:

“Impact from India’s new non-GMO requirement has been minimal”

A new requirement imposed by the Indian government on imported produce items has been causing challenges for apple exporters in Washington. “A sizeable list of produce items now requires a non-GMO certificate, and apples are one of the items on the list,” says Steve Reinholt, Export Sales Manager at Starr Ranch Growers.

Shipments to India continue, impact is minimal
While the new requirement is bringing a new hurdle for exporters, it’s not preventing them from continuing their shipments. Reinholt explains: “It is not a simple process and will require additional processes and documentation prior to shipping. The issue was larger than any one company because the requirement from India was to have all shipments certified non-GMO by an official body – and here in the US we didn’t have anyone who did that sort of certification. Fortunately, the USDA and the WSDA have both stepped up and developed paperwork that will meet India’s requirements, as long as the grower and packer can produce the correct verification.”
Fortunately, the new requirement came during a smaller than usual season, which means that the overall impact has been minimal, says Reinholt. “Additionally, the red delicious variety has historically been the preferred apple in India and the production of reds has dropped off significantly over the past few years. Therefore, the overall impact has been mitigated to a degree. However, when we have the next large crop, we will need all markets open and available to us to profitably market our products. So, ideally, we will be able to get this requirement removed for future seasons,” he says.
Reinholt explains that the requirement of a non-GMO certificate for apples is not logical in the first place: “All apples grown and packed for fresh consumption in the Pacific Northwest are non-GMO, and the variety of apples that India buys don’t even have a GMO variant. I believe this new requirement is a classic case of a bureaucracy throwing up barriers to free trade.”
Tariffs continue to be biggest barrier for exporters
Despite this new requirement and the challenges that have resulted from it, the biggest barrier for US apple exporters continues to be the high tariffs in India. “In the past, India has been a big market for Starr Ranch, as well as for the rest of the apple industry. That changed a couple of years ago when a retaliatory duty of 20% was put on many products, including apples, from the US. Overall volume has dropped off drastically, and the effects of the retaliatory tariffs have a far greater impact on our ability to sell our apples profitably in India than this new non-GMO requirement. Still, India does remain an important trading partner,” Reinholt concludes.
For more information:
Steve Reinholt
Starr Ranch Growers
Tel: +1 (509) 663 2191
Email: sreinholt@oneonta.com 

Publication date: Mon 22 Mar 2021
Author: Annika Durinck
© FreshPlaza.com

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Management of Fall Armyworm: The IPM Innovation Lab Approach



Sara Hendery

Communications Coordinator

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management

Hendery, Sara saraeh91@vt.edu

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From: Aziz Ajlan <aajlan@hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 12:28 PM
Subject: Fw: [reporting-e]

EPPO Reporting Service

  1. 5 PARIS, 2018-05



2018/090           New data on quarantine pests and pests of the EPPO Alert List Pests

2018/091           First report of Spodoptera eridania in Africa (Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria)

2018/092           Popillia japonica found in Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada)

2018/093           First report of Halyomorpha halys in Croatia

2018/094           First report of Thrips setosus in Croatia

2018/095           Update on the situation of Thrips setosus in Germany

2018/096           Studies on the flight capabilities of Anoplophora glabripennis

2018/097           Studies on the flight capabilities of Pityophthorus juglandis

2018/098           Studies on the flight capabilities of Xyleborus glabratus

2018/099           First report of Heterodera mani in Italy

2018/100           First report and eradication of Pomacea sp. in Switzerland



2018/101           Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri found again in Australia

2018/102           First report of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola in Kenya

2018/103           Erwinia amylovora occurs in Portugal

2018/104           First report of Brenneria goodwinii, Gibbsiella quercinecans and Rahnella Victoriana in Switzerland

2018/105           Studies on Dothistroma pini and D. septosporum in Georgia and the Ukraine

2018/106           Incursion and eradication of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 from Israel

2018/107           PPV-CV: a new strain of Plum pox virus described from sour cherry in Russia

2018/108           Interception of Pepper chat fruit viroid in the Netherlands


Invasive plants

2018/109           New record of Cylindropuntia rosea in Saudi Arabia

2018/110           Working with gardeners to identify invasive ornamental garden plants

2018/111           Understanding the influence of urbanization on the invasive species Carpobrotus edulis

2018/112           Effects of human infrastructure on the abundance of alien plant species in protected areas of the Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife, Canary Islands

2018/113            International Conference: Non-native tree species for European forests (2018-09-12/14, Vienna, Austria)


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Australia: Impregnable barrier to fruit fly

  • Thousands of sterile Queensland fruit flies released over Adelaide to limit fruit fly reproduction.
  • Trialling the deployment of flies from a plane, ahead of further releases.
  • Part of a $45 million program to help manage Queensland fruit fly.

Hundreds of thousands of sterile fruit flies will drop from the sky over the Adelaide region today kicking off a bold plan to reduce the numbers of an endemic pest.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the sterile flies would reduce Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) numbers because the flies they mate with will not be able to reproduce.

“The new sterile insect technology (SIT) could be a game changer for Australian horticulture,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Less fruit flies equals more fruit with less pesticide, great crops and profits for farmers.

“More profit for farmers means they spend more money in town which creates more regional jobs.

“While SIT has been effective in California and Guatemala, this project is breaking new ground with some of Australia’s leading fruit fly experts on board.

“This trial is the first step in the process, trialling the equipment used to deploy the flies from a plane, following the extensive baiting and trapping to ensure its effectiveness.

“A release of two million male sterile fruit flies is planned for April to combat recent incursions in South Australia.

“Sustainable management of Qfly is vital to Australia’s $10.3 billion horticultural sector—this pest costs the horticultural sector $300 million each year in lost markets.”

It’s hoped Hort Innovation can commercialise production and delivery of sterile male Qfly.

The Coalition Government’s Rural R&D for Profit project provided $2.35 million for a project led by the CSIRO to create optimal conditions for SIT fly releases. The aerial offensive was part of SITPlus—a $45 million research and development partnership set to transform Qfly management in Australia

For more information:
Parliament Office​
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: +61 2 6277 2276
Fax: +61 2 6277 8493
Website: www.australia.gov.au

Publication date: 3/5/2018

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Faw RISK aS REPT Cover

The document, ‘Pest Risk Assessment of the Fall Armyworm in Egypt’ has just been released by the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Lab at VA Tech. The document provides information on the following subjects:

FAW identification



Mortality and dispersal

Spread and establishment

Risk to other countries

Economic impact

Development of a management plan for the FAW in Egypt

The document can be accessed on the IPM IL website at:

Click to access Egypt-FAW-Risk-Assessment-12-14-17.pdf

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First encountered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) had spread to New York, Delaware, and Virginia by early 2018. The invasive insect threatens Tree of Heaven as well as grapes, hops, and fruit trees, and it has a penchant for hitchhiking. Anyone sighting spotted lanternfly is urged to report it to their state agriculture department or local extension office. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org)By Meredith Swett WalkerMeredith Swett WalkerIn the summer of 2014, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a keen-eyed state Game Commission officer spotted an unusual insect congregating in an ailanthus tree. It was a large plant hopper, about an inch long, with distinctive spots and red hind wings. The officer followed his training and called it in. “He gave us a chance,” says Sven-Erik Spichiger, entomology program manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.It was a spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a sap-sucking insect native to Asia. Just more than a month after this first report, Pennsylvania issued a quarantine in select counties in an attempt to restrict the spotted lanternfly’s movement. “From our perspective, this pest is quite frankly terrible,” says Spichiger.In the summer of 2017, Spichiger visited a property where one or two spotted lanternflies had been seen, but the owner had recently reported there was no real infestation. That situation had changed rapidly. “I deal with all kinds of invasive pests throughout the state—that’s my job—and I have to be honest I was awestruck when I visited the site. I haven’t seen anything quite like that before. The only thing I can liken this to is a massive mayfly hatch off the river. It’s that uncomfortable to be standing around,” says Spichiger. “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.”If Spichiger sounds alarmed, it’s because there is a lot at stake.

The spotted lanternfly may have a preferred host—Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)—but it will also feed more than 70 other plant species, including grapes, hops, and fruit trees. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: “This pest poses a significant threat to the state’s more than $28 million grape, $87 million apple, and more than $19 million peach industries, as well as the hardwood industry in Pennsylvania, which accounts for nearly $17 billion in sales.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture agrees. In February 2018, it announced it was committing $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania. This was after spotted lanternflies were reported in New York and Delaware in the fall of 2017 as well as Virginia in January of 2018. The new funding will allow the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, to expand surveillance and control programs in an effort to stop the spread of spotted lanternfly and reduce its population in the core infested areas in Pennsylvania.

These adult spotted lanternflies (Lycorma delicatula) were filmed on grapes in the summer of 2017. At around the 13-second mark, one of the insects in the upper left can be seen repeatedly excreting a stream of honeydew. The large amounts of honeydew secreted by spotted lanternflies leads to growth of sooty mold, which can severely damage the host plant.

(Video via Erica Smyers, Penn State Entomology Department)

Like other leafhoppers, the lanternfly feeds on plant sap, which damages the plant, but greater harm comes as a result of the honeydew that the insect excretes in abundance. This sweet, sticky fluid promotes the growth of sooty mold, which is extremely damaging to fruit crops. Thankfully, effective control measures exist for the spotted lanternfly, but most alarming about the pest is its potential as a hitchhiker.Adult lanternflies can fly, but it may be the least mobile of their life history stages—their egg masses—that has the greatest potential for long-distance travel. Spotted lanternfly egg masses are inconspicuous, and females will lay them on virtually any surface: trees, lumber, yard furniture, vehicles. Combine that with the fact that their preferred host plant, ailanthus, is an invasive itself that tends to grow in disturbed areas such as around parking lots or along highways and railroad tracks. Ailanthus is already growing in 44 states. Female Spotted lanternflies that are ready to lay eggs tend to be lazy, dropping onto the nearest convenient surface and depositing roughly 30 to 50 eggs.Spichiger envisions a coal car stopped on an ailanthus-lined railroad track or an out-of-town pickup truck parked next to an ailanthus at a football stadium. A gravid female lanternfly drops down, deposits her eggs, and soon they are driven away to the next county or across the country. Sooty mold, such as shown in this example at the base of a tree, results from a combination of sap flows caused by the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) and honeydew excreted by the insect.

Sooty mold, such as shown in this example at the base of a tree, results from a combination of sap flows caused by the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) and honeydew excreted by the insect. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) passes through four nymphal instars. The first three instars are black with white spots (such as the one pictured at right). The fourth instar (left) develops red patterning on the head, thorax, and abdomen, while still retaining some white spotting. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) ”

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) passes through four instars (below).

The fourth instar (left) develops red patterning on the head, thorax, and abdomen, while still retaining some white spotting. (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) tends to aggregate in great numbers, such as shown on this backyard tree. Says one entomologist who tracks the pest: “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.”  The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) tends to aggregate in great numbers, such as shown on this backyard tree.

Says one entomologist who tracks the pest: “This pest has such a tremendous potential to breed and increase its population size that it can overwhelm individual properties and entire communities almost overnight.” (Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org) Egg masses of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) are very inconspicuous and may be laid on virtually any surface.

Egg masses of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) are very inconspicuous and may be laid on virtually any surface. (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is the preferred host plant for Spotted Lanternfly, but the insect will also feed on many other species of plants including, fruit trees, grapes and hops.


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