Quarantine for Spotted Lanternfly Goes into Effect

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the establishment of the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester, effective immediately. The purpose of the quarantine is to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly to uninfested areas of the Commonwealth. 

Spotted Lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, including grapes, apples, stone fruits, hops and Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven), which is its preferred host. It poses a threat to Virginia’s peach, apple, grape and wine industries. Spotted Lanternfly can also be a nuisance pest to homeowners when numbers are high. 

The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Winchester in January 2018. Subsequent surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that the pest has become established in the city of Winchester and spread into Frederick County, just north of Winchester. Prior to the January 2018 detection in Virginia, the only Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) found in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania. Populations are now established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and northern Virginia. 

To ensure the spotted lanternfly is not being moved out of the quarantined area, the quarantine requires businesses to obtain a permit from VDACS and inspect those articles that are considered a risk for movement of SLF to conduct an inspection and complete an inspection statement when moving out of the quarantined area.  Articles considered to be at risk (regulated articles) include plants, lumber, firewood, industrial or construction materials and equipment, stone, shipping containers (for example, wood crates or boxes), outdoor household articles (examples: grills, mowers and outdoor furniture), recreational vehicles and any means of conveyance. Virginia’s spotted lanternfly permit and inspection statement will meet the requirements of SLF quarantines in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York.

VDACS will grant a 30-day grace period to provide businesses and individuals time to comply with requirements of Virginia’s quarantine but encourages businesses to start conducting inspections immediately and obtain their permits as soon as possible. The department will hold an informational meeting at the Frederick County Public Safety Building on June 6 from 3 to 7 p.m.  The Public Safety Building is located at 1080 Coverstone Drive, Winchester, VA 26022.

To obtain a spotted lanternfly permit, businesses must complete the spotted lanternfly training and submit their training credential and completed SLF Permit Application to spottedlanternfly@vdacs.virginia.gov. More information on Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia, including SLF training, permit application and inspection statement is at vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services.shtml. Landowners may also contact their local extension office at ext.vt.edu/offices.html.