Be on High Alert
Alarmingly, we received notice from the Virginia Department of Agriculture that Spotted Lanternfly now has an established population in Carroll County, just north of Surry County, North Carolina. We are ramping up survey and outreach efforts in that area, however any vehicle, camper and commodity moving from any SLF infested area could move the highly invasive pest to our state. We believe the highest risk areas in NC are locations with camping, tourist attractions, conventions or other visitor attractions, but we cannot rule out even a single vehicle that stops in our state for gas could carry a gravid female or viable egg mass. Most recently we learned that SLF can even move on the exterior of aircraft and the insect may not require Tree-of-Heaven to complete its lifecycle. SLF feeds on more than 70 plants and although vineyards are at greatest agricultural risk, home values, tourism and outdoor venues are just a few industries that take a financial hit in areas where SLF is established.
Other SLF infested areas in Virginia include Prince William, Shenandoah, Page counties, the cities of Lynchburg and Winchester, and the quarantined Frederick, Clarke, and Warren counties. Additional states with established Spotted Lanternfly populations include: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia. New infestations are being found regularly so adjacent states to those listed above could potentially carry Spotted Lanternfly as well.