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For Immediate Release: August 8, 2022
Senior Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Spotted lanternfly confirmed in Bedford County
(Bedford, VA)—The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) says the spotted lanternfly has recently been confirmed in Bedford County.
The spotted lanternfly is an exotic, invasive insect with no natural enemies in the United States. Its preferred host is Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but it will feed on more than 100 other plant species including apple, peach and cherry trees, and grape vines.
The insect was first discovered in Virginia in 2018. To slow its spread, VDACS has established a quarantine in numerous Virginia localities, including Lynchburg. The quarantine requires businesses to obtain a permit from VDACS and inspect all regulated articles before those items leave the quarantine area.
Bedford County is not under a quarantine at this time. VDACS will be conducting additional surveys to fully understand the insect’s spread in our locality.
Residents can play a role in preventing the spread of spotted lanternfly. The best management practices are:
- Killing any life stage of spotted lanternfly if found
- Inspecting and killing spotted lanternfly before moving any items that are stored outdoors
- Managing spotted lanternfly’s favorite host, Tree of Heaven, on your property
- Keeping windows and doors shut
- Not parking near trees and shrubs
- Not storing items under or near trees and shrubs
Learn more about spotted lanternfly, including management practices and treatment, on the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s website.