TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has announced that up to $15,000 in reimbursement funding is available for all New Jersey counties for treatment of the spotted lanternfly. The funds will be given to municipalities for costs they accrue for chemical treatment activities associated with spotted lanternfly control.
“This is an excellent opportunity for each county in New Jersey to take advantage of funding that can assist them in helping reduce the populations of this invasive pest,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “The more participants we have in this program the stronger our fight will be against this invasive menace.”
The spotted lanternfly is currently reaching its adult stage and will eventually begin laying egg masses that will hatch next spring. While the adult spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter temperatures, the egg masses are not affected.
While the spotted lanternfly does not harm humans or animals, it can feed on about 70 different types of vegetation or trees. The pest’s preferred host is the Tree of Heaven, an invasive plant that has been in the United States for decades. The spotted lanternfly is native to Asia and was first found in the U.S. in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. It is considered a plant hopper and can fly only a few feet at a time. However, the spotted lanternfly is an excellent hitchhiker and can travel on almost any kind of transportation for several miles, which has allowed it to spread to several states.
The Department asks people to check their vehicles whenever possible before leaving an area to make sure the pest is not coming along for the ride. The NJDA has a checklist of items and places on where to look for the spotted lanternfly before leaving an area 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.
Home and business owners can go to www.badbug.nj.gov to find information that includes a timeline for the stages of growth for the insect as well as treatment options. Along with the listed treatment options, residents and businesses can also use licensed pesticide applicators to provide treatments to kill the spotted lanternfly. However, if residents do choose an over-the-counter treatment option, they should carefully follow directions on the product when applying it.