Photo courtesy of N.J. Department of Agriculture

There’s no longer a need to report SLF sightings. For other questions, call 1-866-BAD-BUGZ or email us at

Here’s what the NJ Department of Agriculture advises for homeowners: If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs or instars in alcohol, bleach or hand sanitizer to kill them. Oddly, they will also hop into an empty bottle if held in front of them. Watch video here.

The invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is a favored host plant of this pest. The South Orange Green Team has been hard at work removing this plant from our public green spaces. As a homeowner, you can help by removing these from your property. Smaller trees can be uprooted. Here’s a resource from Cornell University to help make sure that you are pulling TOH and not a native, beneficial plant. Larger trees will require a more severe treatment to eradicate as demonstrated in this video from Penn State Extension.

Here‘s some more info on the insect, its origin, and how it harms our ecosystem also 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. 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, [birch, willow,] 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!”

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