After first appearing in New Jersey in 2018, the invasive spotted lanternfly continues to make its way into many South Jersey counties. According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the spotted lanternfly is a plant hopper, Lycorma delicatula (white) belonging to the family Fulgoridae in the order Hemiptera (true bugs). They may not be a threat to people or pets, but the spotted lanternfly can do serious damage to 70 different plant species, especially commercial vineyards and orchards.
Anne Nielsen, an associate professor in Rutgers’ department of entomology, said the number of sightings have increased this year. Eight South Jersey counties are currently under quarantine: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset and Warren. However, Nielsen says the pests are present in more than half the state’s 21 counties.
Local growers have expressed concerns about the threat spotted lanternflies present to apple, cherry, and peach orchards. Though the pest caused vineyard losses in Pennsylvania, it is not yet known if it has affected any in New Jersey.
If you get any calls from customers regarding the spotted lanternfly, the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Extension, has a resource page with important information for killing eggs, nymphs, and adults.
Complete your continuing education before the Oct 31st deadline!