New Jersey counties are under quarantine for an invasive bug known as the spotted lanternfly
BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – They’re here.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) offices all across the state have been receiving reports of sightings of spotted lanternfly, and everyone can play a role in monitoring for and controlling this exotic invasive insect.
“We have been working diligently to slow the advance of this bug,” NJDA Secretary Fisher said. “We are targeting areas where severe infestations have been confirmed, and we also encourage residents to destroy the spotted lanternfly if possible when they see it. It will take a combined effort to help keep this pest from spreading.”
While the spotted lanternfly is no threat to humans or animals, it is known to feed on 70 different types of plants and trees. The New Jersey counties under quarantine are Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem.
The spotted lanternfly is a plant hopper and can only fly short distances. However, it is an excellent hitchhiker and has been known to ride on any kind of transportation. The Department asks that anyone who travels in a quarantined county do a quick inspection of their vehicle for the spotted lanternfly before leaving.
“NJDA and USDA crews have worked to control the spread of this invasive pest,” NJDA Plant Industry Division Director Joe Zoltowski said. “Its ability to travel easily on any mode of transportation has allowed it to spread. We are asking residents to do their part by eliminating this bug whenever possible.”
Controlling the adults of spotted lanternfly and its egg masses is vital to slowing its spread.
Using items such as sticky traps are not recommended as they have been found to be ineffective.
Adult spotted lanternfly will begin laying egg masses in early to mid-September. These grayish egg masses can be scraped off, double bagged and then thrown away. They can also be placed into alcohol or bleach to kill them.