Maryland expands spotted lanternfly quarantine to control spread of invasive species

Maryland has expanded its spotted lanternfly quarantine to control the spread of the invasive species.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture expanded the spotted lanternfly quarantine to include the following counties: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Washington and Wicomico, as well as Baltimore City.

The quarantine is effective immediately and restricts the movement of regulated articles that might contain the spotted lanternfly in any of its life stages, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Invasive spotted lanternfly found in Loudoun County

"The spotted lanternfly continues to be a destructive invasive species that has negatively impacted agriculture operations throughout the mid-Atlantic region," said MDA Secretary Kevin Atticks. "The department continues to take steps to expand the quarantine zone out of an abundance of caution as we remain vigilant in controlling the spread of this destructive insect."

The original quarantine order from 2019 included Cecil and Harford counties, which have established spotted lanternfly populations. In early 2022, the quarantine zone was expanded to nine additional jurisdictions based on the confirmed existence of known spotted lanternfly populations in these areas.

Businesses, municipalities, and government agencies requiring any regulated item's movement within or from the quarantine zone must have a specialized permit. Examples of regulated articles include landscaping, remodeling, or construction waste; packing materials like wood boxes or crates; plants and plant parts; vehicles; and other outdoor items.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: First Maryland spotted lanternfly hatch of 2020 identified

The spotted lanternfly poses a significant threat to the region’s agricultural industries as it feeds on over 70 different types of crops and plants, including grapes, hops, apples, peaches, oak, pine, and many others, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Originally from Asia, the spotted lanternfly was first detected in Berks County, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2014. It has also spread to Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.