Be on the lookout for Spotted Lanternfly!

Gloucester County NJ has issued a Public Statement on their Facebook Page regarding the Spotted Lanternfly.  Although the statement has been issued by Gloucester County, the surrounding counties of Camden, Burlington, Cumberland and Salem should also be on the lookout!

 “Residents asked to be on lookout for Spotted Lanternfly -Surveying confirms Spotted Lanternfly in Gloucester County”

(Woodbury, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Freeholder Jim Lavender are asking residents to be vigilant about looking out for the Spotted Lanternfly in Gloucester County and also about inspecting their vehicles for the insect before leaving Pennsylvania.

Freeholder Director Damminger said, “The Spotted Lanternfly is a destructive invasive pest that could devastate our quality of life in Gloucester County. We are an agricultural county with many different crops that make up a large part of our economy.” 

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. 

Freeholder Jim Lavender said that the New Jersey State Department of Agriculture has been surveying and has found individual Spotted Lanternflies at Red Bank Battlefield Park in National Park. Late yesterday, Aug. 27, Gloucester County learned it was added to the list of quarantined zones.

 Lavender said, “If everyone has their eyes out for this insect we can help combat its spread. The insects do not bite people or pets, but they can destroy crops, fruit trees and hard woods. If you see one, kill it and report it.” Lavender is the Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Parks and the Office of Farmland Preservation. 

The Department of Agriculture is following up by identifying/locating every Tree of Heaven in Red Bank Battlefield Park, removing those that are less than six inches in diameter and then they will hand herbicide each tree. The bug congregates on this species of tree in August to feed and complete their life cycle. 

For more information on what this quarantine entails, please refer to the Rutgers NJAES website, https://njaes.rutgers.edu/spotted-lanternfly/, and the NJDA website, https://www.nj.gov/…/divisio…/pi/prog/spottedlanternfly.html. 

If you see the Spotted Lanternfly, kill it. Report any spotted lanternfly sightings to the state Department of Agriculture’s special hotline number 833-BADBUG-0 (833-223-2840) or send an email to SLF-plantindustry@ag.nj.gov. 

Egg masses are typically about 1-1.5 inches long and covered with a gray or yellowish-brown, waxy coating. Each egg mass may contain 30 to 50 eggs that will hatch from late April to early May. 

If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol, bleach or hand sanitizer to kill them.

Watch instructional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoFp_MbDiE8 

Collect a specimen: Specimens of any life stage can be turned in to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s lab for verification. 

Take a picture: With your GPS function turned on your smartphone or a camera with GPS, take a photograph of ANY life stage (including egg masses) and submit picture to: SLF-plantindustry@ag.nj.gov 

Report a site: If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call New Jersey Spotted Lanternfly Hotline at 1-833-223- 2840 (BADBUG0) and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information 

For more information, go to nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/spottedlanternfly.html.

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MIA RANDAZZO