Agricultural and Horticultural Pests

Spotted Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly, a pest that poses a significant threat to the grape, apple, and stone fruit industries, has spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and led the state to place 13 counties under quarantine, including Bucks County. The state's quarantine order, map, and training instructions for commercial transportation are attached below.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is enlisting the help of all residents to help it track the spread of this insect and take steps to eradicate any infestation.

Penn State University's Extension Service is serving as the information clearinghouse for Spotted Lanternfly. Visit and read their management guide for homeowners, which is the source for much of what we've described here.

The State Department of Agriculture has additional information about the quarantine in effect against the spread of this pest, how to report a Spotted Lanternfly sighting and tips for contractors and businesses at

The two documents attached below are useful to homeowners: A guide to spotting Spotted Lanternfly egg masses, and a checklist to follow if you're traveling outside the county to help stop the spread of this pest.

Emerald Ash Borer

The most deadly pest for the ash tree is the Emerald Ash Borer. The adult beetle nibbles on the leaves and doesn't cause much damage, but the larvae bore into the tree and decimate its vascular system, killing it quickly. The Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed hundreds of millions of trees in the U.S. and has been detected across Pennsylvania.

New infestations are difficult to detect, and may go unnoticed for as long as three years. Two of the ways to spot the presence of the beetle: It leaves a D-shaped hole in the bark when the adults emerge from the larval stage, and woodpeckers feast on the larvae — heavy woodpecker damage is often a sign of infestation. Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer at, which was created by the USDA Forest Service and Michigan State University. 

Treatment is challenging. While several insecticide options are available, it is difficult to successfully control under-bark feeders with chemicals. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recommends that only ash trees that are healthy and are of value to the homeowner should be considered for treatment. Other ash trees should be removed before they become a hazard.

Attached below is a presentation from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on the threat and treatment options for the Emerald Ash Borer.

Thousand Cankers Disease

Thousand Cankers Disease was first identified seven years ago in walnut trees in Bucks County. A quarantine is in effect restricting the movement of walnut in and out of the county.

Thousand Cankers Disease is caused when Walnut Twig Beetles, which carry a fungus (Geosmithia morbida), tunnel beneath the bark of walnut trees, causing small cankers to form. Over time, repeated beetle attacks and the resulting cankers cause disruption of the movement of water and nutrients throughout the tree, which leads to dieback of branches and kills the tree, usually within 10 years. There is no known cure for Thousand Cankers Disease.

For more information visit the Agriculture Department Thousand Cankers Disease webpage. Attached below is an October 2018 presentation by the department to Solebury's Environmental Advisory Council on Thousand Cankers.