CRESCO, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The next time you drive or transport certain items out of the area, you may want to reconsider. There are restrictions in place for several counties throughout our region.

Linda Besecker co-owns Ross & Ross Nursery in Cresco. She’s worried about The Spotted Lanternfly, which is known to wreak havoc on nurseries.

“We haven’t seen something this bad in this area that I ever heard of,” Linda Besecker, Ross & Ross Nursery co-owner, explains.

The invasive insect was first detected in Berks County, Pennsylvania. To slow it from spreading, surrounding areas are under quarantine. That includes Monroe, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties.

Besecker adds, “we’re in an area where we really need to educate people.”

Egg masses attach to lawn furniture, trash cans, play sets, and vehicles.

“[Under the quarantine] you can’t transport those to another county unless you first inspect to make sure the insect isn’t there,” says Lucy Auger, Penn State Extension.

That’s a problem for nursery employees, because they regularly transport plants in and out of the area.

“It’s a major concern,” Besecker says.

The eggs are just now starting to hatch. They start out very small, about the size of a pen tip.

The Spotted Lanternfly is destructive to vineyards, apples, peaches, and hardwoods.

Auger adds, “we’re not going to be able to export those things if they are contaminated with Spotted Lanternfly.”

Back at Ross & Ross Nursery, employees are attending a special workshop to stay ahead of the problem. “We have to be prepared, and it’s happening quickly,” Besecker warns.

A small insect, causing big problems.

The Spotted Lanternfly has been detected in the southern part of Monroe County. Experts say it’s important for homeowners to check outdoor items before moving them out of the area.