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West Penn official warns spotted lanternfly threat remains

  • TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

Published September 18. 2018 09:28AM

A West Penn Township official has once again warned residents of the danger of the spotted lanternfly threat.

Supervisor Ted Bogosh said at Monday morning’s board meeting that he’s concerned with the number of dead trees and potential risks.

Bogosh said there are trees scattered throughout the township that could fall down on power lines as a result of the insects that are killing them.

“It’s becoming a serious problem,” Bogosh said. “We may end up with a lot of power outages or roads being blocked.”

Bogosh stressed to property owners to “do what you can.”

“There are trees leaning over,” he said. “It’s something that we all need to be aware of to try to eliminate this problem so that power outages are limited.”

Bogosh reiterated that there are lots of trees out there and lots of potential problems that could lead to power outages and blocked roads.

In June, Bogosh said that the spotted lanternfly threat is real and that residents needed to be on the lookout for trees possibly falling across other trees and power lines.

“The potential of creating havoc in our township is extreme,” he said.

Bogosh said at that time the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has put a quarantine in place to stop the movement of the spotted lanternfly and to slow its spread within the quarantine.

The following counties remain under quarantine: Schuylkill, Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

In April, Bogosh noted that the insects are killing the trees, some of which are over 100 years old.

Bogosh said the spotted lanternfly is attacking grapes, fruit trees and pines, while the emerald ash borer kills ash trees and the gypsy moth attacks oak.

He said it is expected the ash trees will be eliminated.

Bogosh added that some residents have had trees fall along their power lines, and urged landowners to be mindful of any older trees on their property.

The USDA has granted $17.5 million to the state to investigate and stop the spread and control and perhaps eliminate the insect.

The state Department of Agriculture has provided information signs to each municipality in the county to be mounted in a place where there’s some foot traffic.

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