Spotted Lanternfly Threat: Survival Guide for Trucking Companies

spotted lanternfly

You may have heard of the spotted lanternfly epidemic in the eastern U.S. You may have also heard that it’s affecting trucking fleets. The invasive species is hitting hard, and trucking companies that ship through affected areas have been put on alert with new regulations and a required permit. Those who cannot show a permit upon inspection can be fined up to $20,300 per violation.  

The spotted lanternfly problem has been around for years now, but the requirement for a permit is new and means business. Although Pennsylvania is ground zero, the spotted lanternfly population has been spreading fast, and a quarantine zone has been mapped out, now stretching over 19 counties. 

Here’s what you need to know, and how you can make sure your fleet is 100% covered.

Spotted Lanternfly Threat: Survival Guide for Trucking Companies

Spotting the spotted lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula, or the spotted lanternfly, is an invasive, leaf-eating insect species from India, China, and Vietnam, likely carried to the eastern U.S. through commerce. It thrives in the northeastern U.S. because it lacks natural predators and tends to blend into its environment. To the untrained eye, egg masses and the backs of adult lanternflies are easily mistaken for tree bark. 

Spotted Lanternflies, like other insects, are non-stop eaters and are wreaking havoc to native plant life. If not checked, the spotted lanternfly boom could be devastating to vital vegetation in and around Pennsylvania, including hops, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and other crops, as well as to trees and forest ecosystems. 

The infestation has so far affected seven states, and a quarantine area has been declared by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) covering 14 counties in Pennsylvania, and several other adjoining counties in Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia. 

See a map of the quarantine area.

New fleet regulations

What does this mean for you?

Trucks unloading or loading any cargo in quarantined areas face a new permit requirement, which went into effect May 1. The permit shows proof of spotted lanternfly training. Trucks may be subject to official inspection and must carry permits as well as documentation demonstrating compliance with regulations, including drivers’ inspections of their own trucks and other control measures.

Get PDA Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training for Businesses here.

Breaking it down

Only one person in each trucking company is required to undergo PDA’s spotted lanternfly training and exam. Once he or she has passed the exam, he or she will receive a permit from PDA and is then responsible for training others in the company and distributing copies of the permit for those drivers who have passed training. 

From PDA’s website:

The company should designate one or more supervisors/managers in charge of warehousing or trucking to take the permit training and exam, and request enough permits to cover all vehicles under his/her authority. That designated person should then train all workers in the product movement/transport stream and maintain a record of who has been trained. They should place a permit in each company vehicle, along with documentation to show that inspections are being done and control measures (such as vehicle washes) are done at appropriate times to keep spotted lanternfly from moving with the product or vehicle. Training and inspection/control records must be kept for two years.

Training for trucks that don’t stop

Crossing quarantine areas without stopping, or stopping briefly in quarantine areas for fuel only, doesn’t require a permit. However, PDA strongly suggests training all drivers, even those just passing through, on recognizing spotted lanternfly adults, nymphs, and egg masses. 

The spotted lanternfly poses a serious threat to local ecosystems and can attach to vehicles, not just to cargo. PDA is even asking commuters to learn to recognize and inspect for spotted lanternflies.

In their own words:

“Even if you do not need a permit, take advantage of training.”


In short, don’t get caught without a permit, and go the extra step if you can. According to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Order, violators of the order can receive the following penalties: 

  • A criminal citation of up to $300 per violation 
  • A civil penalty up to $20,000 per violation

A driver can also have a permit revoked if PDA determines the permit-holder has not complied. 

Getting covered

The first step is to make sure a representative of your company gets the required training from PDA.

Get PDA Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training for Businesses here.

The next step is to distribute training across your fleet. You may create your own training, or plug in to an existing resource. This is where an online training option is going to serve you well. You can distribute materials right away and get your whole fleet trained within the same timeline.

Infiniti-I Workforce Solutions offers comprehensive training content on lanternfly, including a map of the quarantine area. All our clients already have access to these materials, and it’s ready to “plug and play” with their current training system.

Lanternfly resources and topics we cover:

  • Destroying Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses
  • Development Stages of the Spotted Lanternfly
  • How to Comply with Spotted Lanternfly Regulations Fact Sheet
  • How to Identify and Destroy Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses
  • If You See A Spotted Lanternfly, Report It!
  • Lanternfly Quarantine Zone Map
  • Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training (Parts 1-5)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Training Quiz

Our system makes it easier to train consistently and across your whole fleet since all training tools are online. Documentation for every driver’s training is also stored safely in our cloud-based system. 

From new regulations to full compliance across your fleet, we work to reduce the time and expense it takes so you can avoid unnecessary fines and fees.

Try a free demo of Infinit-I Workforce Solutions, or get in touch with questions.