NJ Updates Spotted Lanternfly Reporting Procedure | Hunterdon Review News

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State Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher on Tuesday, September 21, updated the procedures for reporting sightings of the spotted lantern fly.

Sightings of the invasive insect can be reported using the form at https://bit.ly/3EBvAwn. Residents and businesses are encouraged to find resources for treatment options at www.badbug.nj.gov.

“We have asked the owners of our state to let us know where this insect is found and they have done an outstanding job, which has been very helpful in our efforts to control this invasive pest,” said Secretary Fisher. “Using the website form allows us to determine where high populations of this insect are found and prioritize areas for treatment by NJDA and USDA staff. “

The department received nearly 10,000 emails and combined calls regarding the spotted lantern fly in August. While the NJDA and USDA have about 20 two-person teams statewide that perform treatments in specific areas, it’s not possible to respond to every message or provide treatment to every reported sighting. The department is also asking residents of New Jersey not to contact surrounding state departments with information about spotted lantern sightings.

The state continues to encourage residents to trample or destroy the spotted lantern fly whenever possible. With the treatment options listed at www.badbug.nj.gov, residents can also use companies that are licensed pesticide applicators to provide treatments to kill the spotted lantern fly. However, if residents choose an over-the-counter treatment option, they should follow the directions on the product when applying it.

This is also the time of year when adult spotted lanterns lay egg masses that can be found on almost any type of surface. Video and information on how to scrape egg masses before they hatch are available at https://bit.ly/3lGj4Ds. While the adult spotted lantern cannot survive the winter, egg masses hatch in late April or early May, with between 30 and 50 nymphs going through four stages before reaching adulthood.

While the spotted lantern does not harm humans or animals, it can feed on about 70 different types of vegetation or trees. The pest’s preferred host is the Tree of Heaven, an invasive plant that has been present in the United States for decades. The spotted lantern fly is native to Asia and was first found in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. It is considered a hopper and can only fly a few feet at a time . However, the spotted lantern is an excellent hitchhiker and can travel on almost any type of transport for several miles, which has allowed it to spread to several states.

The department asks people to check their vehicles before leaving an area to make sure the pest is not coming for the ride. The NJDA has a checklist of items and places to look for the Spotted Lantern before you leave an area here. The checklist is used to educate the public about the spotted lantern fly, including how to identify all life stages of the insect and how to minimize its movement.


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