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USDA steps in to help Nockamixon suppress spotted lantern fly

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Efforts in Nockamixon Township to combat the spotted lantern fly menace have received a boost from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

At the Sept. 19 public meeting of the board of supervisors, Township Manager Keith DeLuca announced that a representative from USDA had advised that the government agency would be paying for next year’s insecticide spraying of Veteran’s Park, against both the fly and its preferred Tree of Heaven host. That will save the township the $1,800 it budgeted at its August supervisors meeting for this year’s treatment.

The representative, Louise M. Bugbee, also dropped off a supply of three new brochures on the subject menace, which are available at the township office on Lake Warren Road in Upper Black Eddy.

A fact sheet on the Tree of Heaven host was prepared by Penn State Extension, while separate pest management guidelines for homeowners and landscape professionals were prepared by the Extension in cooperation with USDA and the state Department of Agriculture.

The guide for homeowners includes how to identify the insect; how its feeding damages trees; and management topics, including stopping the spread, egg scraping, tree banding, and host removal. A note at the end identifies the information as current as of Sept. 2018, and encourages keeping up to date via the Extension website, extension.psu.edu.

The guide for landscape professionals includes lifecycle and identification; feeding damage; seasonal host phenology; ongoing monitoring; and various control methods, including removing host trees, banding trees, and scraping eggs, as well as chemical control by ovicides, contact insecticides, and systemic insecticides, with the latter including application by injection, trunk spray, and soil drench.

The document concludes with a comprehensive table on recommended insecticides, and a section on potential nontarget effects of insecticides.

The fact sheet on the Tree of Heaven preferred host features how to effectively get rid of it, which is not a simple task.

A state-mandated quarantine order remains in effect to help stop the spread of the menace, including permit requirements for moving equipment and goods into and out of the quarantine zone.

Also at the Sept. 19 supervisors’ meeting, Todd Stone, chair of the Bridgeton-Nockamixon-Tinicum Ground Water Committee, announced that the group will be conducting educational events at Palisades High School at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and Nov. 25.

He also noted the annual Gallows Run Watershed cleanup event for Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, with a signup link available at the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) website.


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