Invasive Species Spotlight: What To Do When You Find A Spotted Lanternfly

what to do when you find a spotted lanternfly

Here’s a quick 101 on what to do when you find a spotted lanternfly

Have you been seeing increasing numbers of spotted lanternfly on your patio or crawling in your garden? They look harmless – even pretty – but these little pests are doing serious damage to neighborhood trees, gardens, farms and orchards across New Jersey. Here’s a guide to what to do when you find a spotted lanternfly in the Garden State.

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What is a Spotted Lanternfly?

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that was first detected in the United States in 2014. Most commonly found in Pennsylvania, it has been spotted in other states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. 

It is a planthopper, meaning it feeds on the sap of plants, and can cause extensive damage to crops and trees. To help stop their spread, there has been significant public education around what to do when you find a spotted lanternfly. New Jersey’s campaign against SLF encourages homeowners to “Join the battle, beat the bug!”

A little insect with a huge impact

The spotted lanternfly feeds on a wide range of plants and can cause extensive damage. It is capable of rapid reproduction and can spread very quickly. It has been known to hitchhike on vehicles and other items, making it difficult to contain. 

This pesky insect threatens serious damage to crops, ornamental plants, and hardwood trees. Its presence can lead to the destruction of entire ecosystems and natural habitats, as well as disruption of the local economy. By understanding what to do when you find a spotted lanternfly, you can take steps to protect your land and prevent its spread.

What to do when you find a spotted lanternfly

Homeowners are encouraged to help stop the spread of spotted lanternflies by checking cars and any outdoor equipment when traveling in and out of the quarantined zones

If you find an infestation on your property, there are a number of spotted lanternfly control methods to manage the invasion. Not all products that keep bugs away will kill spotted lanternflies, so here’s how to tackle them effectively:

  • Learn how to identify and distinguish the spotted lanternfly from other insects. 
  • Collect a specimen for identification if possible. Place it in a sealed container such as a jar with a small amount of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. 
  • Check your property, vehicles, and clothing for any spotted lanternfly adults, eggs, or nymphs. 
  • Destroy any spotted lanternfly adults, eggs, or nymphs you find. 
  • Avoid moving firewood, stone, mulch, or other materials that may contain spotted lanternfly eggs or nymphs to other locations. 

Most importantly, if you have trees, shrubs, or other plants that are infested with spotted lanternfly, contact the professionals to implement an integrated pest management program.

Contact Borst for Organic Pest Management

Borst Landscape & Design is the Bergen County landscape service that protects your family through premium organic pest management. Our environmentally friendly treatments and specialized approach offer effective solutions to keep your yard safe, healthy, and worry-free. 

For your free consultation, call Borst (201) 822-9327 or fill out a contact form on our website.


Image credit: Magi Kern @Unsplash