Last week, New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced that sightings of the spotted lanternfly can be reported by using the form at bit.ly/3EBvAwn. Residents and businesses are encouraged to find resources for treatment options at badbug.nj.gov.
“We have asked the homeowners of our state to inform us where this insect is and they have done an outstanding job, which has been very helpful in our efforts to fight this invasive pest,” Secretary Fisher said.
The Department received nearly 10,000 combined e-mails and calls concerning the spotted lanternfly in August. While the NJDA and USDA have about 20 two-person crews throughout the state doing treatments in specific areas, it is not possible to respond to every message or provide treatments at every reported sighting. The Department is also asking that New Jersey residents not contact departments of surrounding states with spotted lanternfly sighting information.
The NJDA continues to encourage residents to stomp on or destroy the spotted lanternfly whenever possible. Along with the treatment options listed at www.badbug.nj.gov, residents can also use businesses that are licensed pesticide applicators to provide treatments to kill the spotted lanternfly. However, if residents do choose an over-the-counter treatment, they are urged to follow the directions on the product when applying it.
This is the time of the year when adult spotted lanternflies are laying egg masses that can be found on almost any type of surface. A video and information on how to scrape egg masses before they hatch can be found at bit.ly/3lGj4Ds. While the adult spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter, the egg masses hatch in late April or early May.
While the spotted lanternfly does not harm humans or animals, it can feed on about 70 different types of vegetation or trees. The spotted lanternfly is native to Asia and was first found in the U.S. in Berks County, PA, in 2014. It is considered a plant hopper and can fly only a few feet at a time. However, the spotted lanternfly is an excellent hitchhiker and can travel on almost any kind of transportation for several miles, which has allowed it to spread to several states.
The Department is also asking people to check their vehicles before leaving an area to make sure the pest is not coming along for the ride. The NJDA has a checklist of items and places about where to look for the spotted lanternfly before leaving an area here. 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.
Residents may also send the address of the spotted lanternfly sightings to SLFfirstname.lastname@example.org.