TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher today announced the Department has placed an additional eight counties in the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. Every county in the state is now part of the zone. One of the primary purposes of the quarantine is to bring attention to residents and business owners to check all materials and vehicles for the spotted lanternfly or its egg masses before moving goods or traveling.
“While spotted lanternflies are not visible now, the egg masses laid in the fall months can still be unintentionally moved, allowing them to hatch in new locations in the spring,” Secretary Fisher said. “While the NJDA and USDA have crews finding and scrapping egg masses, this quarantine serves as an alert to remind everyone to check for spotted lanternfly egg masses throughout the winter months.”
For more information about the spotted lanternfly go to www.badbug.nj.gov and click on the spotted lanternfly photo.
Residents in the quarantine area are required to use a checklist before moving any of the articles listed here. The checklist serves to inform the public about the spotted lanternfly, including how to identify all life stages of the insect and minimize its movement. The Department is also asking for people to check their vehicles before leaving an area as the spotted lanternfly has the ability hitchhike on any vehicle for several miles. Homeowner resources, including a video on how to scrape egg masses, can be found at http://bit.ly/3K0YDwt.
Business entities that routinely travel in and out of the quarantine area are required to have a permit by taking, and passing, free training regarding the spotted lanternfly at https://bit.ly/3mDGv2d. Businesses that interact in a quarantine zone must comply with the details outlined in the quarantine order. The quarantine also allows access to property for Department, USDA, or USDA-contracted agents where the spotted lanternfly is suspected or confirmed so that the property can be evaluated and treated, if necessary.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses hatch in late April or early May, depending on the temperature. The insect develops through four instars and reaches its adult stage in late July or early August, and then begins laying egg masses in September. While the adult spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter, its egg masses can, and produce about 30 to 50 nymphs that hatch in the spring. While the spotted lanternfly is no threat to humans or pets, it does feed on approximately 70 different kinds of vegetation. The pest prefers Tree of Heaven as its host.
This insect was initially discovered in the U.S. in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014 and is now in 14 states.
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA