Spotted lanternflies are being spotted everywhere! This insect is a serious invasive pest that feeds on sap from over 70 different plant species. Spotted lanternflies can negatively impact our agriculture, economy, and everyday life through the honeydew they excrete, which eventually turns into mold.
According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDOA), Monmouth County is in the "spotted lanternfly quarantine zone". Most spotted lanternflies reach adulthood by September and lay eggs through December.
The NJDOA is urging anyone who comes across the insect to report and destroy it immediately to help slow the spread. The Middletown Health Department also encourages residents to utilize the NJDOA's checklist for spotted lanternfly quarantine areas, in an effort to stop the spread. You can also learn how to make your own spotted lanternfly circle trap with Penn State Extension.
For additional resources from the NJDOA about the invasive bug and how to help control the spread, visit the NJDOA's Homeowner Resources at www.middletownnj.org/njdoa. For specific questions, you can also contact the Master Gardeners of Monmouth's hotline by calling 732-303-7614 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.