(Cherry Hill, NJ) – Egg-laying season for the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), an extremely invasive, crop-eating insect which recently arrived in New Jersey, typically begins during October. Because the SLF are known to destroy fruit trees, grapevines, and other agricultural crops, we need the public’s help identifying and destroying SLF eggs in order to limit next year’s population.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), SLF typically lay their eggs on smooth surfaces, appearing similar to a patch of mud. Egg masses stay in this stage all winter and are very likely to be accidentally transported to new locations. Residents are advised to check outdoor items for egg masses, including those which may be brought indoors.
“Although the spotted lanternfly has reached Camden County, we can still take steps to reduce its impact and the size of the population moving forward,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash. “If you spot an SLF egg mass, please take the necessary steps to safely destroy and dispose of it. By destroying SLF egg masses, you are helping to control the population of an invasive species that could otherwise wreak havoc on South Jersey’s agricultural economy.”
To properly destroy SLF 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.
Spotted lanternflies are not known to bite, sting, or attack people, pets or livestock, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agricultures. It is not known whether they are poisonous when ingested by humans or animals. The pest is primarily a threat to agriculture including many fruit and crops.
More information about SLF is available from the United States Department of Agriculture by visiting here.