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Scientists Examine Potential Economic Impact of Spotted Lanternfly in Pa.

State's economy could take a hit of at least $324 million annually


January 23, 2020

Greg Hoover/Penn State Extension

The spotted lanternfly threatens agricultural sectors worth nearly $18 billion to Pennsylvania's economy.

If not contained, the spotted lanternfly potentially could drain Pennsylvania's economy of at least $324 million annually and cause the loss of about 2,800 jobs, according to a study carried out by economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Under a worst-case scenario, in which damage reaches the maximum projected by crop-production and forestry experts, these losses could increase to $554 million annually and almost 5,000 jobs.

The report, the first to estimate the potential financial ramifications of the spotted lanternfly – an insect that has an insatiable appetite fo...

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