Now that the weather is getting warmer, people are advised to be on the lookout for the egg masses of the invasive spotted lanternfly that plagued the state last year.

As the weather gets warmer, two things will happen: one, people will be spending more time outdoors and will be able to spot the masses, and two, the eggs will start hatching. The first of the nymphs should start hatching in May. While the winter cold killed off the adult Spotted Lanternflies, the egg masses are hardy enough to survive the cold. A single egg mass can hold 30-50 eggs.

To kill the egg masses, first you have to spot them. According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, they look like sooty mold or a muddy mess on the tree. They are particularly fond of the tree of heaven, an Asian tree that’s common to New Jersey, but the eggs can also be found on rocks and firewood.

Once you spot them, you need to destroy them. You’re supposed to scrape the egg mass with a putty knife or credit card; you’re advised to scrape them into a plastic bag (if you scrape them onto the ground, they can still hatch) filled with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Just to make sure they’re dead, you can smash them, either as you’re scraping them or after you’ve bagged them.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species from China and the Far East that feeds on many varieties of vegetation, potentially killing the tree or plants. They do not pose a threat to humans or pets.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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