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Spotted lanternfly quarantine zone expanded

Columbia, Luzerne and Northumberland Counties have been added to the list.

ELYSBURG, Pa. — Rohrbach's Farm near Catawissa grows many different varieties of produce.

Lately, workers have been checking those plants to make sure the crops are not infected by the spotted lanternfly.

"If you see a white patch, you can take a credit card and scrape it off," Sandra Snyder said.

The bug has been causing problems in Pennsylvania for years, killing plants and trees. It's especially damaging at fruit farms. 

It has not been seen at Rohrbach's, but it has recently been spotted in Columbia, Luzerne, and Northumberland Counties.

"We'll be inspecting our vehicles, inspecting other people's vehicles when they transport their products to our place," Snyder said.

Columbia, Luzerne and Northumberland Counties were added to the state's quarantine zone that already included southeastern Pennsylvania.  That means businesses that operate or travel through these areas must obtain a spotted lanternfly permit.  To get that permit, you must show you're doing all you can to keep the lanternflies from spreading.

Knoebels Amusement Resort and its other businesses have had permits for the past year as a proactive measure.

"When we were made aware that the quarantined counties were so close, we knew that it was basically a matter of time before they made their appearance," Blair Faust said.

There are no spotted lanternflies at Knoebels, but officials at the park, campgrounds, golf course and lumber facilities are constantly looking for them.

"Right now, we're more at an awareness state that we are doing our best to control them from coming to us on vehicles," Faust said.

For more information on Spotted Lanternfly permits, click here.