Department of Agriculture Calls for Increased Awareness and Compliance to Control Spread of Pest.
The New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture, Douglas Fisher, has declared that all counties in the state are now part of the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. The primary objective of the quarantine is to raise awareness among residents and business owners to inspect all materials and vehicles for the presence of the spotted lanternfly or its egg masses before moving them or traveling.
The Department of Agriculture has provided a checklist for residents in the quarantine area to use before moving any items, which includes information on identifying the different stages of the insect and minimizing its spread. The department is also encouraging people to check their vehicles before leaving an area, as the spotted lanternfly has the ability to hitchhike on any vehicle for several miles. Homeowners can access resources, including a video on removing egg masses, here.
Businesses that routinely travel in and out of the quarantine area are required to obtain a permit by taking and passing a free training program on the spotted lanternfly, which can be found here. These businesses must comply with the details outlined in the quarantine order. The quarantine also grants access to any property for Department, USDA, or USDA-contracted agents to evaluate and treat the property if necessary.
The spotted lanternfly egg masses typically hatch in late April or early May, based on temperature conditions. The insect goes through four stages of development and reaches its adult stage in late July or early August, before laying egg masses in September. While the adult spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter, its egg masses can, and they can produce around 30 to 50 nymphs that hatch in the spring. The spotted lanternfly is a pest that feeds on around 70 different types of vegetation, with a preference for the Tree of Heaven as its host.
The spotted lanternfly was first discovered in the US in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since spread to 14 states. The Department of Agriculture urges the public to visit www.badbug.nj.gov and click on the spotted lanternfly photo for more information.
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