New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher encourages New Jersey residents to help take part in eliminating spotted lanternfly egg masses.
While the adult spotted lanternflies cannot survive the freezing temperatures, they do lay egg masses that survive the winter and then hatch in late April or early May.
“The more of these egg masses that can be destroyed now and before spring, the less of these nuisance pests there will be next year,” Fisher said.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses hold between 30-50 eggs of the invasive species. One sign to look to see where spotted lanternflies has been is a black sooty mold on a tree. The spotted lanternfly prefers the Tree of Heaven, which is common in New Jersey.
The egg masses can be found on almost any kind of surface, including on vehicles, park benches, steps or outdoor stairways, or on the sides of buildings. The egg masses may be scraped with a credit card (or something similar). It is important to press against the egg mass and hear the eggs popping as they are being scraped. The popping sound signifies the eggs are being destroyed. Scraping cards are available at the Rutgers Extension office in each county.
Since Oct. 1, 2021, NJDA and USDA staff have scraped nearly 340,000 egg masses and treated almost 20,000 acres.
While the Spotted Lanternfly is not a threat to humans or animals, it is known to feed on numerous types of vegetation.
The Spotted Lanternfly is native to Asia, but arrived in the U.S. in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on a shipment in 2014. The species has been advancing ever since. Due to the insect’s excellent hitchhiking ability, there are now 14 states that have confirmed populations.
For homeowner and business resources, and other information about spotted lanternfly go to www.badbug.nj.gov.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.