You’ve probably been told at one time or another, “Don’t pick up hitchhikers,” only this time, the hitchhiker is 1 inch big and can be hiding in a tiny crevice on your truck. We are talking about the Spotted Lanternfly.
The Spotted Lanternfly was first discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014 and is thought to have been originally brought over after hitching a ride on a boat from China. (1)
The insect is described as being “approximately 1 inch in size with grayish forewings marked with black spots and small black brick-like markings near the wing tips. The hindwings are marked with distinct patches of red, white and black. Adults lay yellowish-brown egg masses that are covered with a gray, waxy coating. The immature stages of the insect, or nymphs, are black with white spots, and they eventually develop bright red patches as they near adulthood,” according to the WVU Extension Service. (2)
While it doesn’t sting, or bite for that matter, PA Department of Agriculture’s Shannon Powers states that the tiny insect can “threaten $18 billion worth of Pennsylvania agriculture products” by “secreting a substance called honeydew that then makes the plants susceptible to mold. It destroys them, makes blenders grapes in particular unusable and inedible.” (1)
To help eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly, Pennsylvania was awarded $17.5 million and is strictly enforcing a required permit for those shippers and carriers located within the quarantined areas (Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill) as well as those truckers who make stops in the above locations, including rest stops. (3,4)
To obtain the permit, a representative from the company must undergo training on the Spotted Lanternfly, pass a test, and train their employees. The permit is then placed on cabs or mirror hangers, as well as on a shipper’s bill of lading. (4) Trucks will be randomly pulled over for inspection for the insect and can be turned around and fined up to $20,000 for not carrying the proper permit. (3) Additionally, law enforcement in other states can check the bills of lading and logs to see if the driver had stopped in a quarantined location. (3)
Road Scholar Transport’s customers can rest assured that their products will not be delayed due to lack of compliance. Our entire fleet (and office staff) has been provided with content and a test following, with the results electronically cataloged should we ever have to produce them. We also have our permit stickers on all of our cabs.
The Spotted Lanternfly may be in quarantine, but don’t let it take your freight down with it!