(Cherry Hill, NJ) – The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula is an extremely invasive insect which feeds on hardwood trees, fruit trees, grapevines, and other agricultural crops. Camden County is one of eight counties that the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has placed under quarantine as part of an effort to contain the spread of the destructive pest.
“The state is asking all individuals and businesses travelling in and out of a quarantined county to inspect vehicles and outdoor items such as packing bins, firewood, paving stones, and lawn equipment for egg masses that should be destroyed,” said Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Mosquito Commission which is overseeing the county’s effort to combat the insect. “To properly destroy the egg masses, the USDA recommends scraping the mass into a plastic zippered bag filled with hand sanitizer, then zipping the bag shut and disposing of it properly. Mature bugs should be destroyed immediately.”
To combat Spotted Lanternflies in Camden County Parks, traps monitored by the Parks Department employees are being placed in trees, and targeted pesticide treatments are being applied. These efforts are being done in partnership with the NJ Department of Agriculture and the US Dept of Agriculture.
“Please take the time to survey your own property and community for any possible evidence of Spotted Lanternfly activity,” Rodriguez said. “Please remember that the insect is an incredible hitchhiker. Any efforts you make to destroy the invasive pest, or its egg masses, will help you and community reduce populations.”
This insect was accidentally introduced into Pennsylvania in 2014 and was only found in Berks County. Today it has spread throughout Pennsylvania and to neighboring states. It was first reported in New Jersey in 2018, and remains most troublesome in the counties bordering PA. In addition to Camden County, the NJ Department of Agriculture has ordered a quarantine for the counties of Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, and Warren.
Spotted Lanternfly will not sting or bite humans or animals. For more information, please visit www.badbug.nj.gov
The NJ Department of Agriculture has created a quarantine checklist for homeowners: