The spotted lanternfly is an insect that was first spotted in the US in Pennsylvania and sightings have been reported in New Jersey as well. While the spotted lanternfly doesn’t harm animals or humans, it can cause harm to the plants that it feeds off of.
The spotted lanternfly is known to feed off of 70 different plant species, such as wood trees, vegetables, and fruit trees. When a spotted lanternfly feeds off a plant it can cause significant damage to the plant and even death of the plant. Spotted lanternflies also excrete honeydew which can attract other insects such as bees and the honeydew can also cause mold to grow.
Spotted lanternflies looks different throughout their life cycle. To see what a spotted lanternfly looks like click here.
While certain counties in NJ have had a high number of sightings, reporting sightings of spotted lanternflies can help with managing the pest. Sightings of the insect are recorded in a database and assessed to see if treatment is needed in certain areas. Certain counties in New Jersey have a high number of spotted lanternflies and are considered “quarantine” counties. Sightings in the following quarantine counties do not need to be reported, for a list click here. At this time Essex County is not listed as a quarantine county.
If you see a spotted lanternfly, please report it! To report a sighting call 833-422-3284 or report the sighting online click here.
For more information visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture by clicking here.