State officials and experts from Penn State are assuring worried Pennsylvanians that the spotted lanternfly is not a threat to Christmas trees, writes Jim Lewis for the Reading Eagle.
The fear spread after claims on the Internet that Christmas trees could be tainted with eggs laid by the Asian insect.
Christmas trees are big industry in the Keystone State, ranking fourth nationwide for annually cut trees, which bring in $22 million a year to growers.
According to the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association, growers inspect their trees after receiving training and information from the Department of Agriculture.
And while spotted lanternflies eat more than 70 types of plants, conifers are not one of them. Furthermore, their eggs are not commonly found on Christmas trees.
According to Tanner Delvalle, a Penn State Extension educator, even if eggs are discovered, it is highly unlikely they will hatch in someone’s home.
Delvalle said if they did, they pose “no threat to humans or animals, and will die quickly.”
Read more about Christmas trees and the spotted lanternfly in the Reading Eagle here.