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BH Announcements

Posted on: August 19, 2021

What to Do If You See the Spotted Lanternfly


The spotted lanternfly, with its whitish upper wings and red lower wings dotted with black spots, has become a familiar sight across Union County, and even here in Berkeley Heights. This invasive insect has the potential to impact dozens of important plant species including grape vines and black walnut trees. Union County wants residents to keep an eye out for spotted lanternflies, and kill them on sight.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Agriculture, which also advises the “stomping out” of the spotted lanternfly, told TAPinto that the insects are no threat to humans or pets, but they are plant eaters and can feed on approximately 70 different types of vegetation.

To get information on extermination and prevention, visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture online here. To report sightings, use the online reporting tool here.

Read more in TAPinto here.

From the NJ Department of Agriculture...

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam; it is also established in South Korea, Japan and the U.S. It was first discovered in the U.S.slf-wanted-dead-or-alive in Pennsylvania in Berks County in 2014 and has spread to other counties in PA, as well as the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.

This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops and hardwood trees. SLF feeds on the plant sap of many different plants including grapevines, maples, black walnut, and other important plants in NJ. While it does not harm humans or animals, it can reduce the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

Why You Should Care

SLF is a serious invasive pest with a healthy appetite for our plants and it can be a significant nuisance, affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors. The spotted lanternfly uses its piercing-sucking mouthpart to feed on sap from over 70 different plant species. It has a strong preference for economically important plants and the feeding damage significantly stresses the plants which can lead to decreased health and potentially death.

As SLF feeds, the insect excretes honeydew (a sugary substance) which can attract bees, wasps, and other insects. The honeydew also builds up and promotes the growth for sooty mold (fungi), which can cover the plant, forest understories, patio furniture, cars, and anything else found below SLF feeding.

If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, help us Stomp it Out!

To report a sighting, use the reporting tool or call 833-4BADBUG (833-422-3284). For other questions, email us at


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