West Penn Township Farmers Concerned about Spotted Lanternfly

WEST PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Newswatch 16 spoke with a winery manager in West Penn Township who is concerned about the spread of the spotted lanternfly.

The grapevines are bare at Galen Glen Winery near Andreas right now, but that doesn't mean vineyard staff isn't worried about the crop.

"I'm very concerned at how quickly it has spread and the lack of control options at this point," Galen Glen Vineyard Manager Erin Troxell said.

Troxell said she saw a spotted lanternfly at the winery last October. The spotted lanternfly is known to suck the life out of trees and other fruit crops, including grapes.

"I took out my phone to take a picture and report it to badbug.org reporting center," Troxell said. "I probably should have squashed it instead of taking that picture because they hop. They jump really quickly."

The winery owners said they should start seeing grapes soon which means they'll need to find a way to prevent the spotted lanternfly which could include insecticides.

"We try to avoid that here because a broad spectrum insecticide will kill all insects, not just the spotted lanternfly," Troxell said. "A lot of them are good. There are a lot of insects that are very beneficial to the ecosystem of the vineyard."

West Penn Township Supervisor Ted Bogosh is also a farmer. He said he's not only concerned about the spotted lanternfly but also other insects, including the emerald ash borer. He said that bug has killed many trees in the township.

"All the insects, this past two years, they seem to be much worse than I've noticed before," Bogosh said.

Earlier this year, the USDA gave Pennsylvania a $17.5 million grant to help fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly. If you see one, you should contact the State Department of Agriculture at 866-253-7189 or visit this website.