The first Spotted Lanternfly, a pest that feeds on and causes the decline of more than 100 different plant species, was spotted in Prince William County on March 30, 2021.
Since its first appearance in Virginia in 2018, the Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services determined that the Spotted Lanternfly is a pest that needs monitoring and possible control at the local level.
The County’s Mosquito and Forest Pest Management Branch has determined that the Spotted Lanternfly has become a potentially serious threat to Prince William County’s trees and forests.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently authorized a public hearing to amend the Gypsy Moth and Mosquito Control Service District Ordinance to include surveillance and outreach for the Spotted Lanternfly. The ordinance requires an amendment to use levy money to take measures to fight the Spotted Lanternfly.
Educating the public is the best means of finding pests early. Residents watching for the pests is a good way to help spot a new, invasive species, and early detection can help eradication efforts.
Public outreach, coupled with early detection monitoring by the County’s Public Works’ staff, could slow the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, help residents with treatment options and aid Public Works staff in targeting eradication efforts.