After increased sightings in Monmouth County, the Middletown Health Department advises the community to be aware of the Spotted Lanternfly. The Spotted Lanternfly is a serious invasive pest that feeds on sap from over 70 different plant species. It excretes honeydew while feeding, which results in mold covering the plant and anything nearby. While Spotted Lanternflies do not directly hurt humans or animals, they can negatively impact our agriculture, economy, and everyday life.
According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), Monmouth County is in the "spotted lanternfly quarantine zone". Since spotted lanternflies are currently hatching and will not develop their wings until July, the Middletown Health Department advises residents to kill and report them to the NJDA when spotted.The Middletown Health Department also encourages residents to utilize the NJDA's checklist for spotted lanternfly quarantine areas, in an effort to stop the spread.
If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, take a photo of it and report it to the NJDA or call 833-4BADBUG (833-422-3284). The NJDA is urging anyone who comes across the insect to report and destroy it immediately to help slow the spread.
For more information about the Spotted Lanternfly, visit the NJDA's website. For additional resources from the NJDA about the invasive bug and how to help control the spread, visit the NJDA's Homeowner Resources.
Beware of Spotted Lanternflies' Egg Masses
Spotted Lanternflies begin laying their eggs in September. If you see an egg mass (pictured below), please scrape it off and destroy it immediately.