Trading one pest for another: Goodbye, cicadas; Begone, spotted lanternflies! | Five for the Weekend

Happy weekend, all.

Just when you think the bug parade across Pennsylvania has ceased, (bye, Cicadas!) pests like the nymph stage Spotted Lanternflies (SLF), pictured above, make their appearance.

I had the misfortunate of discovering SLFs at my home in Lebanon County this week, which means I spent most of the week plotting their demise.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, “the spotted lanternfly came to Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since spread to 34 counties across the commonwealth. To slow the spread and mitigate against harm, these counties are under a quarantine that relies on an educated population of residents and businesses to help contain the pest.”

SLFs are a serious threat to the state’s $132 billion agriculture industry, the department said in a statement earlier this week. Without mitigation efforts, SLFs could cost Pennsylvania up to $324 million annually and 2,800 jobs.

If, like me, you discover these unwelcome and invasive pests at your home, work or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, be sure to report it and squash it! 

As always, your Top 5 Most-Read Stories of the week start below.

1. Pa. election audit a ‘very real possibility,’ top Pa. Senate Republican says after meeting activists

The Pennsylvania state Senate committee chair in charge of overseeing elections said a forensic audit was a “very real possibility” Thursday after meeting with activists Wednesday.

Senate State Government Committee Chairman Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill, told the Capital-Star that he was considering subpoenas for ballot information, but had not considered which jurisdictions would be subpoenaed yet.

“There are a lot of things under consideration right now, and I told them to check back in a week or two and we hope to have some more detail,” Argall told the Capital-Star of the meeting.

2. Acting Philadelphia health commissioner warns residents about COVID-19 Delta variant

sing case counts of the new Delta variant in the United Kingdom, acting Health Commissioner, Dr. Cheryl Bettigole is calling on city residents to become vaccinated.

In an open letter, she highlighted how the more transmissible Delta variant is causing case counts to surge again in the United Kingdom, increasing hospitalizations and hitting young people hard.

“About 10 percent of U.S. cases are now Delta variant,” Bettigole wrote “Given the rate at which it has increased in the U.K. and in the U.S., we should expect the majority of infections to be Delta variant by late July. And that could mean another big increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in Philadelphia. It could mean that, but it doesn’t have to.”

Originally published at,by Cassie Miller

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