The past 18 months have been an experience, to say the least.  We suffered through and continue to deal with the 100-year pandemic known as Covid19.  The weather has dealt us with storms like no other.  When was the last time we here in New Jersey had to deal with these many tornado warnings?

Let's not forget the other once in a blue moon event that took place.  The arrival of the cicadas, after their 17-year hibernation.  Oh lucky us!  Now it's fair to say not everyone in New Jersey had to deal with the impact of thousands, if not millions of these buzzing and nimble flying insects.

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It's safe to say those, critters are no longer impacting our daily lives.  See you guys in 2038.

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There is still one bug that is wreaking havoc in the Garden State and has the potential to kill the very gardens we hold dear to our hearts. The infamous Spotted Lanternfly.

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This bug has invested 8 counties in New Jersey so bad that the State Department of Agriculture has placed them under quarantine.

Camden, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties are the latest areas under strict quarantine due to the heightened level of destruction these insects can cause on plants and trees.  So much so that the Department has asked residents to seek out these pests and destroy them before they multiply into a larger infestation.

State Department of Agriculture spokesperson Jerry Wolfe said literally said...

"If you see a spotted lanternfly and are able to destroy it, please do so.  Go to www.badbug.nj.gov and click on the spotted lanternfly photo, and click on the Report a Sighting form, and fill that out."

According to Rutgers Entomology Professor George Hamilton

"It's important to destroy the lanternfly whenever you see it because it's an invasive insect that is not native to the United States.  "Wherever it is established, it has created some environmental and also agricultural issues.”

The question is should more counties be added to the quarantine list?

Needless to say, everyone should be doing their part.  Follow the lead of nurseries throughout the state.  They are continuously meticulously inspecting trees and plants for these insects to avoid future infestation.

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Unless you suffer from Entomophobia, which means you have a persistent fear of insects, keep your eyes open.

Photo by nick jenkins on Unsplash

Seek and destroy.  Kill the spotted lanternfly.  But act fast, they jump quick.

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