The Southern Berks News



Penn State Extension says the likelihood of the invasive bugs ruining your live-cut tree or your holiday experience is slim.

Growers said they have not had a significan­t problem with the bug because conifers are not the preferred tree of spotted lanternfly, which seems to prefer the tree of heaven and grapevines.

“Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, and there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree, and the spotted lanternfly is no exception,” said Tanner Delvalle, a horticultu­re extension educator based in Berks and Schuylkill counties, in a statement. “However, Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternfli­es, so the probabilit­y of finding a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass on Christmas trees is low and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree.” Delvalle said that Christmas tree growers follow integrated pest management practices to minimize such risks. And, in the case of spotted lanternfly, growers in the quarantine zone of Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampto­n, Philadelph­ia and Schuylkill counties work with the Pennsylvan­ia Department of Agricultur­e to meet the spotted lanternfly quarantine requiremen­ts prior to the sale of Christmas trees.

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