5/29/2019 - Spotted Lanternfly - See It, Report It!

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture asks all residents to be on the lookout for Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect species which is know to feed on 70 different types of trees, fruit, vegetables and grains.

The exotic-looking bug is native to Asia. Adult insects are about 1 inch long, and feature a black head, grayish black spotted forewings and reddish black spotted hind wings, according to Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The first U.S. Spotted Lanternfly sighting was in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. 

It's easy to inadvertently transport the bugs, which feast on a variety of produce. They're plant hoppers — and also can hitch a ride on your car. Because egg masses are laid on smooth surfaces and look like a patch of mud, it's very likely that they could go unnoticed on outdoor items, building materials and even bikes and scooters, according to NJ officials.

Click here for more information on what to do if you see Spotted Lanternfly in any of its life stages, including a color photo.  Click here for a checklist for residents to review before moving outdoor items in or out of quarantined areas.