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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Baltimore

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Baltimore, MD. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Baltimore's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Baltimore. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Baltimore, MD. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Baltimore, MD

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Baltimore,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Baltimore, MD

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Baltimore, MD

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Baltimore, MD

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Baltimore, MD, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Baltimore, MD

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Baltimore, MD

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Baltimore, MD.

 Greek Grocery Store Baltimore, MD

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Baltimore, MD

Latest News in Baltimore, MD

Apple workers vote to unionize at Maryland store

TOWSON, Md. — Apple store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Saturday, a union said, joining a growing push across U.S. retail, service and tech industries to organize for greater workplace protections.The Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union's announcement said. The vote could not immediately be confirmed with the National Labor Relations Board, which would have to certify the...

TOWSON, Md. — Apple store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Saturday, a union said, joining a growing push across U.S. retail, service and tech industries to organize for greater workplace protections.

The Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union's announcement said. The vote could not immediately be confirmed with the National Labor Relations Board, which would have to certify the outcome. An NLRB spokesperson referred initial queries about the vote to the board's regional office, which was closed late Saturday.

Apple declined to comment on Saturday's development, company spokesperson Josh Lipton told The Associated Press by phone.

Union organizing in a variety of fields has gained momentum recently after decades of decline in U.S. union membership. Organizers have worked to establish unions at companies including Amazon, Starbucks, outdoors retailer REI and Google parent company Alphabet.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Apple employees who wanted to join said they had sent Apple CEO Tim Cook notice last month that they were seeking to organize a union. The statement said their driving motivation was to seek "rights we do not currently have." It added that the workers had recently organized in the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or CORE.

"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in the statement. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."

Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and to let the unionizing employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson location.

It remained unclear what steps would follow the vote in Towson. Labor experts say it's common for employers to drag out the bargaining process in an effort to take the wind out of union campaigns.

The IAM bills itself as one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.

The Apple store unionization comes against a backdrop of other labor organizing nationwide — some of them rebuffed.

Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City voted to unionize in April, the first successful U.S. organizing effort in the retail giant's history. However, workers at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island overwhelmingly rejected a union bid last month. Meanwhile, Starbucks workers at dozens of U.S. stores have voted to unionize in recent months, after two of the coffee chain's stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize late last year.

Many unionization efforts have been led by young workers in their 20s and even in their teens. A group of Google engineers and other workers formed the Alphabet Workers Union last year, which represents around 800 Google employees and is run by five people who are under 35.

PHOTO RELEASE: White House visits State Center Site to recognize Maryland’s success in Test to Treat and vaccination efforts against COVID

Media Contacts:Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, 410-767-3536Chase Cook, Deputy Director for Media Relations, 410-767-8649Baltimore, MD—Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Secretary Dennis R. Schrader and representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and Johns Hopkins Medicine today visited the State Center Vaccina...

Media Contacts:

Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, 410-767-3536

Chase Cook, Deputy Director for Media Relations, 410-767-8649

Baltimore, MD—Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Secretary Dennis R. Schrader and representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and Johns Hopkins Medicine today visited the State Center Vaccination, Testing, and Treatment Site (300 W. Preston Street) to highlight Maryland’s expansion of COVID-19 Test To Treat provider infrastructure and successful vaccination efforts. The State Center site offers one-stop COVID-19 services, including vaccinations, testing, and therapeutics, at no charge to visitors.

The State Center is operated jointly by MDH, UMMC, and Johns Hopkins Medicine and is a critical component of Governor Larry Hogan’s COVIDReady Maryland initiative to keep Maryland families safe.

Representatives from the Maryland Department of Health, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for Pandemic Preparedness, University of Maryland Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins Medicine toured the State Center Vaccination, Testing, and Treatment Site on Friday.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, Governor Hogan, the Maryland Department of Health, and our partners throughout the state worked, and continue to work, day-in and day-out in a coordinated manner to proactively stay in the fight against this still deadly virus,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “State Center is an excellent example of our adapting to meet the current needs of the pandemic and is helping Marylanders stay COVID Ready.”

State Center began offering on-site Test to Treat services in May to enhance and expand existing testing and vaccination efforts. Pictured here (left to right) are Lisa Hoemeke, P.A., Bnita Bhusal, Glorimar Rivera, Ruth Woldesenbet, MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, Dr. Matthew Hepburn, Dr. Charles Callahan, Dr. Mindy Kantsiper, and Dr. David Marcozzi.

Through the Test to Treat program, which launched nationally in March, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – receive a prescription from a health care provider (either on-site or through telehealth) and have their prescription filled all at one location. Maryland now has more than 85 Test to Treat locations that can be found by visiting the testing locator at covidTEST.maryland.gov.

People can also be tested and treated by their own health care providers, healthcare clinics in their community, and telehealth providers who can appropriately prescribe the oral antivirals to locations where the medicines are distributed.

Dr. Matthew Hepburn speaks after a tour of the State Center Vaccination, Testing, and Treatment Site on Friday. Accompanying him are (left to right) Dr. David Marcozzi, Dr. Charles Callahan, Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, and Dr. Melinda Kantsiper.

“We are here today with a team from the White House to say thank you,” said Dr. Matthew Hepburn, Senior Advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “This operation is extraordinarily impressive and unique. We can take lessons from visits like this, and that can inform our national response.”

For more information on COVID-19 resources, visitcovidLINK.maryland.gov.

To schedule a COVID -19 vaccination appointment, visitcovidvax.maryland.gov or call the GoVAX Call Center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX.

-###-?

The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

Follow us athttp://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept andhttps://www.facebook.com/MDHealthDept?

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For 12 MD Counties, Baltimore

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for 12 Maryland counties, plus Baltimore city, Thursday afternoon and evening.MARYLAND — Thursday evening could be rough across half of Maryland with quarter-size hail, heavy lightning and 65 mph winds possible.A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until midnight for 12 Maryland counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Washington counties, plus the city of Baltimore.Cities in the watch are...

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for 12 Maryland counties, plus Baltimore city, Thursday afternoon and evening.

MARYLAND — Thursday evening could be rough across half of Maryland with quarter-size hail, heavy lightning and 65 mph winds possible.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until midnight for 12 Maryland counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Washington counties, plus the city of Baltimore.

Cities in the watch area include: Aberdeen, Annapolis, Arnold, Bel Air, Bethesda, Bowie, Camp Springs, Catonsville, College Park, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgewood, Eldersburg, Elkton, Ellicott City, Essex, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glen Burnie, Greenbelt, Hagerstown, Havre De Grace, Joppatowne, Laurel, Odenton, Pikesville, Rockville, Severn, Severna Park, Silver Spring, Suitland-Silver Hill, Towson and Westminster.

Storms with up to 65 mph wind gusts and possible hail will move across the Baltimore region, the National Weather Service said. There is also a tornado risk, prompting the service to issue a hazardous weather outlook for parts of Maryland.

Isolated showers and storms will become more numerous into this evening. Some may become severe with damaging wind gusts, large hail, or even an isolated tornado. Stay weather aware, the weather service said.

Storms will be at peak intensity across parts of New York, central and eastern Pennsylvania and northern portions of Maryland and Virginia Thursday evening, AccuWeather said.

"People in these areas should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions where fast-moving and strengthening storms can bring frequent lightning strikes, damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding," AccuWeather meteorologists say.

Here's the latest Maryland forecast:

Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 94. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 65. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 77. Northwest wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 80.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65.

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Strawberry Supermoon To Rise Over Maryland This Week

The strawberry supermoon lights up the Maryland sky this week. Here's when to see it.MARYLAND — Get ready to see a spectacular sight in the sky in this week! This week's full moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual — and worth getting outside to check out.It's a supermoon, and it rises around 8 p.m. Eastern Time over Maryland. The June full moo...

The strawberry supermoon lights up the Maryland sky this week. Here's when to see it.

MARYLAND — Get ready to see a spectacular sight in the sky in this week! This week's full moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual — and worth getting outside to check out.

It's a supermoon, and it rises around 8 p.m. Eastern Time over Maryland. The June full moon is also known as the full strawberry moon because this is the time of year that strawberries ripen.

Weather permitting in Maryland, it'll be quite a treat. The AccuWeather forecast for Tuesday calls for temperatures in the low 80s with heavy thunderstorms and a breeze. The evening should be mainly clear and humid.

The National Weather Service calls for showers and thunderstorms as well as partly sunny skies both days.

Look toward the southeast just after sunset, and watch as the moon rises over the horizon. "There," The Old Farmer's Almanac wrote, "it will appear large and golden-hued."This is the stuff lasting childhood memories are made of.

Anyone who hasn't stretched out on a blanket and made up stories about kids around the block playing with a beach ball or some other fantasy has been cheated out of one of the greatest pleasures of childhood.

So by all means, make the supermoon watch party a family outing. If you miss this one or the weather doesn't cooperate, here's some good news: This is the first of three consecutive full moons that qualify as a supermoon.

Supermoon isn't an astronomical term, but one coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 to explain the effect of perigee — the moon's closest approach to Earth in a given orbit — when it occurs during a full moon.

No one paid much attention to Nolle's definition until 2011, "when the full moon arrived at an exceptionally close perigee, coming within 126 miles (203 kilometers) of its closest possible approach to Earth," Joe Rao wrote for Space.com.

The heavens over Maryland hold another delight this month: a rare planetary alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn that won't occur again until August 2040, according to AccuWeather. You'll be able to see the parade of planets through the end of the month, but the best date to mark is before 5 a.m. local time on June 24, when a crescent moon joins the planetary parade.

Also, with the summer solstice later this month comes a chance to see rare noctilucent clouds, sometimes called "electric blue clouds" because of their color, according to AccuWeather.

And who knows? You may see a meteor or two. There's no shower expected, but meteors are always flying, and several shooting stars an hour are usually visible on any given night, according to NASA.

The next meteor shower — the Delta Aquariids — doesn't start until July 12. It runs through Aug. 2, peaking on July 28-29. Mark your calendars for that one, because a new moon means excellent viewing conditions for this shower, which produces about 20 meteors an hour at the peak.

Consider it a warmup act for summer's main shooting star event, the Perseids, famous for their fireballs. That shower runs July 17-Aug. 24, producing up to 60 shooting stars per hour at the Aug. 12-13 peak.

MD Quarantine For Spotted Lanternfly Expands To 10 Counties, Baltimore

Experts urge residents to report the invasive spotted lanternfly as Maryland expands its quarantine. Here's how you can stop the pest.MARYLAND — Spotted lanternflies have already hatched in Maryland, but there's still time to stop them in their tracks before they can fly.A quarantine order first issued by the state secretary of agriculture three years ago for Harford and Cecil counties is still in effect, but has been expanded this year to also include: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Kent, Montgome...

Experts urge residents to report the invasive spotted lanternfly as Maryland expands its quarantine. Here's how you can stop the pest.

MARYLAND — Spotted lanternflies have already hatched in Maryland, but there's still time to stop them in their tracks before they can fly.

A quarantine order first issued by the state secretary of agriculture three years ago for Harford and Cecil counties is still in effect, but has been expanded this year to also include: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Kent, Montgomery and Washington counties, as well as Baltimore City, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said.

This quarantine took effect in January, and restricts moving materials that might contain the spotted lanternfly in any of its life stages, including egg masses, nymphs, and adults. Residents are asked to check backpacks, bicycles, trash cans, lumber and other material before moving it.

"While they are not known to pose any serious human or animal health concern, the spotted lanternfly is a destructive invasive species that has negatively impacted agriculture operations throughout the mid-Atlantic region," said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder in a release. "MDA has taken steps to expand the quarantine zone out of an abundance of caution as we remain vigilant in controlling the spread of this destructive insect."

The Maryland Extension Service and the Maryland Department of Agriculture urge residents to report lanternfly sightings and take steps to reduce the spread of the invasive sap-feeding plant pests.

Spotted lanternfly is considered a major threat to Maryland's agricultural industries, affecting grapes, peaches, apples, walnut, hickory, oaks, maples and pines.

The pest also feeds on basil, horseradish, blueberries, cherries and cucumbers.

One approach the Department of Agriculture is using to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly is to issue quarantines. A quarantine requires businesses and government agencies to acquire permits to move certain items known to harbor the destructive insect, such as landscaping, remodeling and construction materials.

"For residents, we urge everyone to check their personal vehicles for hitchhiking lanternflies and to be cautious when moving any materials that could potentially contain the insects, such as cut wood, pallets, trailers, stone and boxes," Sumpter said.

Native to China, lanternflies first appeared on the eastern U.S. coast in 2014 in Pennsylvania, most likely arriving on a shipment of goods from Asia, according to Dr. Michael Raupp, insect specialist with the University of Maryland Extension, also known as "The Bug Guy" for his popular "Bug of the Week" blog. The invasive species was first reported in Maryland in 2018.

As of August 2021, there are declared infestations and isolated sightings of the spotted lanternfly throughout the mid-Atlantic region. "I have heard they may be as far south now as South Carolina," Raupp said.

Lanternflies damage host plants in two ways, Raupp said. Adults deposit eggs on a host plant and when the nymphs emerge, they insert their sucking beaks into leaves and stems and feed on the tissue, robbing the plant of valuable nutrients. During feeding they produce large quantities of waste, called "honeydew" because of its rich sugar content. The honeydew serves as a base for growth of a sooty mold that impairs photosynthesis and disfigures fruit and leaves.

"Lanternflies are lethal to vineyards," noted Raupp. "While an infestation won't kill trees, they can become a real nuisance. The honeydew, with its high sugar content, attracts stinging insects like wasps and honeybees."

Backyard or garden infestations can be minimized, Raupp said, with ready-to-use natural pesticides such as pyrethrum, permitted under National Organic Standards rules, when used on lanternflies in early stages of development. In later stages, more potent — and more toxic — chemicals become necessary. Large-scale infestations require the services of professional arborists, he says.

To report a sighting of a spotted lanternfly or any egg masses, contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture at (410) 841-5920 or [email protected].

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