RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced that it has expanded the spotted Lanternfly quarantine to several counties in the northern and western parts of the state.
The quarantine has been expanded to Albemarle, Augusta, Carroll, Page, Prince William, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Wythe Counties, as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Staunton, and Waynesboro.
According to VDACS, the localities included in the expansion were determined by survey data which indicated that the spotted Lanternfly had become prevalent in those areas.
The first spotted Lanternfly in the United States was found in Pennsylvania in 2014, and the first one in Virginia was found in 2018 in Frederick County. The Virginia Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine was established a year later to slow the spread of the invasive insect, as well as to protect businesses who would otherwise have to impose restrictions on products shipped to and from areas it inhabits.
Regulated items that are considered to be risks for movement of spotted Lanternflies include:
- Live or dead trees, green lumber, firewood, logs, stumps, branches or mulch
- Nursery stock, perennial plants, garden plants, produce or compost
- Outdoor items such as lawnmowers, grill or furniture covers, tarps or mobile homes
- Outdoor construction materials such as concrete, stone, tile or deck boards
- Shipping containers such as wood crates or boxes
- Vehicles or wagons stored outdoors
Businesses within the quarantine zone are required to obtain a permit in order to move regulated items out of the quarantined area. This permit will also allow for shipment of regulated items into or through states with restrictions on shipments from within Virginia’s quarantine zone.
The application for a permit can be found here. Online training is required before an application can be submitted, for which there is a $6 fee. Once the training is complete, the completed permit application must be emailed to VDACS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents and visitors within the quarantine zone are also required to make sure regulated items leaving the zone are free of spotted Lanternflies. Residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to learn how to identify the insect and kill them when found.