The Invasive and Destructive Lantern Fly
The invasive and destructive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has been seen all around Watchung this summer. Many residents are asking what to do if they see this colorful insect on their property. Here is some information about them and tips for dealing with them:
- Somerset County is already under quarantine for SLF so there is no need to report any sightings.
- Residents are encouraged to eliminate egg masses (Image A) that can be found on tree bark from September to May. Scrape them off the tree into a bag, destroy them, double bag and throw them away.
- The state wants residents to destroy adult SLF's (Images D & E) by squashing them or stomping on them.
- Trapping the insects by wrapping sticky tape around tree trunks is not recommended as it can cause injury or death to beneficial insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals that also get stuck in it.
- Spray nymph (Images B & C) or adult SLF's with insecticidal soaps, like Ortho Elementals Insecticidal Soap, or spray them with rubbing alcohol mixed with water.
- Hire a licensed professional to remove host trees, like Trees of Heaven, from your property and then apply herbicides to keep them from growing back.
- Google these additional resources: 1) NJ Dept of Agriculture Spotted Lanternfly; 2) Penn State Extension - SLF Management for Residents
- Help by making and installing your own SLF trap by following directions found here