Spotted lanternfly quarantine zone expanding to all of NJ
TRENTON – New Jersey plans to extend the quarantine area for dealing with the spotted lanternfly statewide to all 21 counties, as the destructive pest has completed its spread eastward across the state.
The quarantine area currently covers 13 counties. A proposed Department of Agriculture rule published Monday in the New Jersey Register adds the following ones:
Peril and harm in NJ
The Agriculture Department said it is necessary “to respond to a situation of imminent peril and serious harm to the agricultural industries, environmental resources, and residential areas of New Jersey” and to minimize economic damage to the Northeast’s lumber, viticulture, nursery, and tourism industries.
Spotted lanternfly populations have been identified by federal and state survey personnel within significant portions of the entire state.
“Not only does the spotted lanternfly pose a threat to agricultural industries in New Jersey, it also may be a nuisance to the general population,” the proposed rule says. “The ‘honeydew’ excretions are attractive to hornets, wasps and other stinging insects that aggregate to the area causing potential human health issues and nuisance.”
What do you do about spotted lanternflies in quarantine zone?
People and businesses in the quarantine zone, which will soon include the whole state, are urged to inspect their vehicles for spotted lanternflies that are trying to hitch a ride, as well as check recreational and outdoor household and yard items, as well as building materials, for egg masses.
October is a prime time for seeing eggs. People are asked to scrape off any egg masses they find, double bag them and throw them away. The masses can also be destroyed by rubbing alcohol, bleach or hand sanitizer.
The bugs feed on the sap of trees and plants, including grapevines crucial to the state’s wineries, and their excretion can weaken and kill them over time.
Where did spotted lanternflies come from?
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species native to Asia that was first identified in the United States in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The tree of heaven – another invasive species – is particularly attractive to spotted lanternflies. People living in quarantine areas whose properties are found to be infested would be required to pay for the cost of removal of any tree of heaven.
Nurseries, garden centers, farmers and general businesses within a quarantine area may not ship regulated articles outside the quarantine area without permits, compliance agreements or phytosanitary inspections.