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Nockamixon takes aim at spotted lanternfly

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While a state-mandated quarantine order remains in effect to help stop further invasion by the spotted lanternfly menace, Nockamixon Township is acting to get rid of the pest in its Veterans Park.

At their Aug. 15 public meeting, the supervisors authorized an expenditure of $1,800 to both apply an insecticide against the invasive species, and an herbicide against its preferred host, the Tree of Heaven, which is also known as ailanthus. They budgeted an additional $1,000 for herbicides for the baseball fields.

Stephen Donovan, chair of the township’s environmental advisory council, noted that supervisors had agreed to the council’s request that “the herbicide applicator company use less toxic herbicides, and not to use Roundup (glyphosate) for treating the baseball fields. Also, a warning is to be posted for 24 hours after application of herbicides in the baseball fields, to lessen any adverse impact to the children playing there.”

An article from the council in the township’s spring newsletter, which is available at the township building on Lake Warren Road in Upper Black Eddy, notes that the state Department of Agriculture “issued a quarantine for counties, including Bucks and our surrounding counties, where the presence of the pest has been confirmed. Businesses operating in the quarantine zone must have permits to move equipment and goods within and out of the zone.” For further permit information, the article refers to Penn State Extension at https://extension.psu.edu/does-your-business-need-a-spotted-lanternfly-permit.

The article refers the general homeowner to extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly, for “information on how to identify the spotted lanternfly and its egg masses. The egg masses may be found on any object, including tree trunks, outside furniture, or vehicles … egg masses resemble gray mud, and older egg masses resemble dry cracked mud.”

Regarding the unfortunate need to also eliminate the invasive ailanthus trees, the article notes it “resembles some of our native species that have compound leaves and numerous leaflets, such as staghorn sumac, black walnut, and hickory. (But) the leaf edges of these native trees all have teeth, called serrations, while those of the ailanthus are smooth.” Recommended techniques for effectively removing the ailanthus trees, which is not a simple task, are offered at https://extension.psu.edu/tree-of-heaven.

The invasive spotted lanternfly was discovered in Bucks County in 2014. It has the potential to greatly impact the stone fruit, grape, hops, and logging industries. Damage to blueberries, basil, cucumbers, and horseradish has also been observed.

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