Question of the Day: Spotted Lanternfly Permits Training for Businesses


Q: Why are these bugs dangerous, and how are they affecting my business?

A: The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive species native to Asia. In 2014 it was found in Pennsylvania and has since spread to, disrupted, and quarantined multiple counties around the state, including Adams, Armstrong, Bedford, Centre, Fulton, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Snyder, Union, and Washington.

These insects can cause serious harm to trees, vines, crops, and many other types of plants. The damage can be oozing sap, leaf curling, witling, and dieback. In addition to plant damage, the Spotted Lanternfly excretes a sugary substance called honeydew; this substance encourages the growth of black sooty mold. While harmless to humans, this mold heavily damages plants. Residents within infested or quarantined counties report hundreds of these bugs covering trees, swarming the air, and have spotted their honeydew coating on residential patios and children’s playground equipment.

In addition to damaging trees and affecting the quality of life, SLFs are a considerable threat to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. The economic impact could total hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs for those working with grapes, apples, hops, and hardwood. 

If you see a SLF, you should immediately report it online to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture or call 1-888-4BADFLY. After reporting, squash it and kill it! During the fall season, these bugs lay egg masses containing 30-50 eggs each; destroying these masses is critical to preventing the spread.

If your business moves products, vehicles, or other conveyances within one of the quarantined areas listed above, you are required to have a SLF Permit or hire companies that have one. Business owners can use the SLF Permit Map to find permit holders within the United States and Canada. Before obtaining a permit, businesses must complete the SLF Online Permit Training and the permit exam. Before completing the exam, your business must determine the number of required permits. Consider the following:

  • The person(s) responsible for overseeing the vehicles and training, e.g. owner, manager, or supervisor from each business, should take the online SLF exam after reviewing the supporting training materials.
  • Consider the total control span of how many people take the exam.
    • It may be necessary for more than one person to complete the exam, depending on how many vehicles your business has.
      • For example, It is unreasonable for one person to be responsible for 2000 vehicles.
  • The person taking the exam should enter the number of vehicles (power units) they will be responsible for overseeing and the number of permits needed.

After the exam is completed and passed, that person is considered the trainer for employees in the company who drive company motor vehicles in and out of the SLF quarantined counties in PA. 

  • A SLF permit shall remain in each vehicle.
  • The SLF trainer for each company shall keep records of which employees receive training, the date of the training, shipping and receiving invoices indicating an inspection, and descriptions of SLF inspections for each vehicle inside the SLF areas.
  • Trainers may to use SLF Permit – Powerpoint Slides to train the rest of your team on how to comply with permit requirements.

For more information on how to complete the permit training and exam, click the link below.

Instruction Sheet



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