The Gloucester County officials are asking residents to be proactive and take action against the Spotted Lanternfly.
The Spotted Lanternfly is a threat to over seventy different plant species, including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees, vegetables, herbs and vines, including agricultural crops like grapes and hops.
The insects prefer mating in the fall on Tree of Heaven, a deciduous tree native to Asia that is common in New Jersey. They then die and leave their egg masses there during the winter.
“If you see black, sooty mold on a tree, that is one sign the spotted lanternfly has been there,’ said Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger. “Before the eggs hatch in the spring, we’re asking residents to take action and help stop the lanternflies from destroying crops across the county.”
“The spotted lanternfly does not bite and is not a threat to humans or animals. However, they feed on different types of vegetation and can hurt local agriculture, which is especially a concern as growing season nears,” said Commissioner Jim Lavender.
Once spotted, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture recommends using a rock or credit card to squash the egg mass while you scrape it off the tree and into a bag to throw away. This prevents the sacs from hatching.
To report a sighting, use the reporting tool from the NJDAhttps://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/spotted-lanternfly/#reporting-tool .
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