A particular kind of quarantine has been announced in New Jersey due to the invasive presence of the Spotted Lanternfly. Eight counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, and Warren have been quarantined in an effort to curb the spread of the harmful insect.
The Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to “greatly impact” agricultural crops and trees, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The insect feeds on sap from more than 70 different plant species, leading to the plants’ decreased health and potentially death.
As reported by patch.com, Jeff Wolfe, a department spokesperson confirmed Tuesday the quarantine. “We are asking people to destroy the spotted lanternfly if possible when they see it,” said Wolfe. The department needs people´s collaboration in this task. “If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, help us Stomp it Out.”
Those in quarantined areas should inspect vehicles for spotted lanternflies and inspect outdoor items, such as packing bins, firewood, paving stones and lawn equipment for egg masses, according to the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station of Rutgers University.
While the spotted lanternfly is not a threat to humans or animals, it is known to feed on numerous types of vegetation.
The Department of Agriculture explained on its website that the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam. It was ﬁrst discovered in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in Berks County in 2014 and has spread to other counties in PA, as well as the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.
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As Spotted Lanternfly feeds, the insect excretes honeydew (a sugary substance) which can attract bees, wasps, and other insects. The honeydew also builds up and promotes the growth for sooty mold (fungi), which can cover the plant, forest understories, patio furniture, cars, and anything else found below the insect feeding.
After killing the insect, the Department of Agriculture asks to go to www.badbug.nj.gov and click on the spotted lanternfly photo, and click on the Report A Sighting link and fill out the form. “That is very helpful to us. The website also has links for resources for homeowners and business owners, which include treatment options.”