New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher recently announced the Department has added five counties to the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. The counties new to the list are Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex, and Union. They join the previously announced quarantine counties of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, and Warren.
“The spotted lanternfly’s excellent hitchhiking skills on all types of transportation have allowed it to spread, making it necessary to expand the quarantine zone,” Fisher said. “While we have crews working throughout the state to treat infestations of the spotted lanternfly, we are seeking the public’s assistance by asking anyone who sees this pest to destroy it whenever possible.”
Residents in the quarantined area are required to use the department’s checklist before moving any of the articles listed on it. The checklist serves to inform the public about the spotted lanternfly, including how to identify all life stages of the insect and minimize its movement. The Department is also asking for people to check their vehicles before leaving an area as the spotted lanternfly has the ability hitchhike on any vehicle for several miles.
Business entities that routinely travel in and out of the quarantine area are required to take, and pass, free training regarding the spotted lanternfly at bit.ly/3mDGv2d. Those businesses that interact exclusively in New Jersey’s quarantine zone must comply with the details outlined in the quarantine order. The quarantine also allows access to property for Department, USDA, or USDA contracted agents where the spotted lanternfly is suspected or confirmed so that the property can be evaluated and treated, if necessary.
The spotted lanternfly is currently in its adult stage and will begin laying its egg masses in September. While the spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter, its egg masses can, and produce about 30 to 50 nymphs that hatch in the spring. While the spotted lanternfly is of no threat to humans or pets, it does feed on approximately 70 different kinds of vegetation. The pest prefers Tree of Heaven as its host.
The Department is asking anyone who sees a spotted lanternfly to destroy it whenever possible and then go to badbug.nj.gov and click on the spotted lanternfly photo, and then fill out the report a sighting form. There are resources links for homeowners and business owners on that site. Residents can also send the address of the spotted lanternfly sightings to SLFfirstname.lastname@example.org.