WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many areas of Pennsylvania are in a Spotted Lanternfly quarantine as the bugs are now back, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Spotted Lanternfly is a species native to Asia and was found in PA in 2014, the bugs are considered a huge threat to the PA agriculture system. The PDA said the bug causes serious damage including oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling and dieback in trees, vines, crops and many other types of plants. 

Additionally the bug excretes a sugary substance, called honeydew, that encourages the growth of black sooty mold, which is harmless to people but dangerous for plants.

PDA says that a 2019 study found that if uncontrolled the insect could cost the state $324 million annually and more than 2,800 jobs.

A quarantine was put in effect to protect Pennsylvania’s economy and residential quality of life to stop the spread of this invasive pest to new areas within or outside of the current quarantine zone, according to the state department of agriculture.

The department of agriculture says that compliance with the quarantines and orders are a must. Quarantine strictly prohibits the movement of any Spotted Lanternfly living stage including egg masses, nymphs, and adults and regulates the movement of articles that may harbor the insect.

If you see the fly you are urged to immediatedly “Kill it! Squash it, smash it…just get rid of it.” Additionally, you can report them online or by calling1-888-4BADFLY. Once reported, the PDA and USDA follow up with all reports of Spotted Lanternfly.