On February 28, 2019, the Delaware Department of Agriculture signed Emergency Regulations for Spotted Lanternfly that has enacted a quarantine for this pest. The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicata, is a threat to Delaware and the United States. This insect is a destructive, invasive plant hopper that attacks many hosts, including forests, ornamental trees, orchards, hops, and grapes. This insect is detrimental to Delaware’s agricultural industries, the environment, residential areas, and has an impact on interstate commerce.
The quarantine is in place to prevent the movement of spotted lanternfly in Delaware and the surrounding states and eradicate and control the spotted lanternfly population currently present in the quarantined area. A quarantine over an area found to have spotted lanternfly means that any material or object that could harbor the pest cannot be moved without taking precautions to prevent the spread.Expanded Quarantine Currently, all of New Castle County and Kent County are under quarantine for spotted lanternfly. The quarantine can expand if the pest is determined to have established a population in a previously non-quarantined area. To find out if you’re involved in the quarantine, check our Delaware Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Locator.
The spotted lanternfly lays egg masses of 30-50 eggs wherever it chooses, especially on flat surfaces. All other life stages of this insect, from nymphs to adults, can fly, hop, or drop into a vehicle – meaning that this pest can easily be transported to new areas where it can develop an infestation. The emergency rule for spotted lanternfly describes tools to demonstrate that individuals, organizations, and businesses comply with the quarantine. Intentional movement of spotted lanternfly is expressly prohibited and could result in civil penalties.
Residents should complete a residential compliance checklist indicating that you inspected that no living life stage of spotted lanternfly is present on regulated articles before moving them. While the list is not exhaustive, the Delaware Resident Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Compliance Checklist provides a good idea of where to look for spotted lanternfly and where to look for egg masses to scrape and destroy.
Any person conducting business requiring the movement of any regulated item within or from the quarantine area must have a permit. All regulated articles, including vehicles and conveyances, shall be inspected. All life stages of the spotted lanternfly shall be removed and destroyed before moving within or out of the quarantine area. Regulated articles, other than vehicles and conveyances, must be packaged and safeguarded before shipping, such as within a closed container, shrink-wrapped, tight tarp, or similar covering to maintain isolation from the environment during storage or transportation.
If any living life stage of the spotted lanternfly is found during an inspection, those items will remain within the quarantine area. Placed in a separate area, away from other regulated articles, these items will be processed, treated, burned, or buried, per all federal, state, or local laws.
A regulated article, including vehicles and conveyances, may be shipped through the quarantine area if it originates outside of the quarantine area, and the destination is outside of a quarantine area, including the quarantine areas of other states. This must be designated on the waybill accompanying the regulated items. As long as the item has been stored, packed, or handled only at locations outside the quarantine area, the item, including the vehicle and conveyance, may move through the quarantine zone without stopping (except for refueling, traffic control devices, or emergency conditions).
If any other area, inside or outside of Delaware, is determined to have spotted lanternfly present, movement from that area into the State will require a permit issued either under Delaware’s regulations, a Department-approved permitting process, or other program carried out by the state of origin.
To obtain a permit, a designated individual from an organization must receive training and pass an online test to demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the pest and quarantine requirements. This individual is then required to train other employees to inspect vehicles and products and remove any life stages of the spotted lanternfly. The permit demonstrates that you understand how to identify the pest and ensure the items you transport are not carrying the insect.