Early response (2018-2020) to the threat of spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) in Pennsylvania.
Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) is an invasive planthopper first detected in the United States in one county in Pennsylvania in September 2014. As of October 2020, 43 counties in nine states are under quarantine due to the presence of SLF in those areas, and it has been detected in 10 additional states. The greatest economic impacts from SLF have been reported from grape growers, nurseries, and Christmas tree growers, and it is considered a nuisance pest by residents. Because this insect feeds on over 70 species of herbaceous and woody trees and plants, it has the potential to cause wide ranging damage across agricultural, urban, suburban, and forested landscapes. Due to these widespread impacts, SLF management has demanded cooperation at local, state, regional, and national levels. However, the immediate response to the threat of SLF in Pennsylvania during the early phases of the infestation was a catalyst for initiating these efforts, and this response was coordinated via a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences. The history of SLF in the United States is recounted, highlighting the early priorities that emerged. The resulting actions taken in 2018-2020 in response to these priorities, which involved research, Extension, and public awareness are summarized, and areas in which improvements are needed that have been identified are discussed.