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How to Get Rid of the Spotted Lantern Fly in New Jersey


Last summer was the first time I saw a Spotted Lantern Fly (SLF). The insect is very colorful, and it is hard to believe that this beautiful fly is a serious threat in NJ. The invasive plant hopper damages trees and produces a sticky substance, called honey dew, that turns into a black mold. This mold will cover plants, cars, and anything near where the flies are feeding.

Where did SLF come from?

The SLF is native to China, India, and Vietnam. It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has spread to other states, such as New Jersey.

Why is the SLF so bad?

The SLF feeds on the plant sap of many different plants including grapevines, maples, black walnut, and other plants. It does not directly harm humans or animals, but it can negatively impact the quality-of-life for people living in infested in areas. The insect sucks sap from over 70 different plant species.

How Can NJ Get Rid of SLF?

The key is to destroy the eggs. The adult fly lays eggs from September through December. You will see them in different stages from September through June. Even if its 10° F, the egg masses survive.

Where can I find SLF eggs?

You can find the eggs on flat services such as tree bark. Most of the time the eggs are found on trees 10 feet above the ground. Freshly laid egg masses have a light gray mud-like covering and the older egg mass presents a cracked tan and resemble dried mud.

Certain types of trees are more likely to have infestations:

Trees targeted by the spotted lantern fly
Source: https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/spotted-lanternfly/about

What to do when you find SLF eggs

If you see SLF eggs, you need to destroy them. This short video shows how to squish, and scape eggs off a tree. If you see a lot of eggs, you may want to contact a professional that can apply a bark spray to gets absorbed into the sap – which will kill the flies when feeding.

Report a Sighting

If you see eggs or a SPF, report it. You can email SLF-plantindustry@ag.nj.gov. or go online and fill out a reporting form.

If you are not sure if you have eggs or how to address this problem, let us know and we can help find you the best solution.

References:

https://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/pi/pdf/SLFReportingGuidelines.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/spotted-lanternfly/

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