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Aug 12, 2022

Spotted Lanternfly Workshop

The Shade Tree Commission invites residents to join a comprehensive Spotted Lanternfly workshop on Sept. 17 at 9 am. Management control literature and discussions as well as free materials to build homemade traps that easily attach to trees will be available.

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) reaches full maturity during August and September as a flight-capable powerful leaf hopper which is a challenge to catch and kill. The identity of SLF is unmistakable with the large brown and black spotted wings and red, black, and white body. The adult female can produce hundreds of eggs, thus emphasizing the importance of killing the adults before mating and deposition of eggs. Time is of the essence and many residents have taking up the task. Melinda Martin, Chair of the Shade Tree Commission states “From May through July the early nymph stages of SLF were small, black and white, and not highly visible in most yards. During July and early August, the SLF matures into larger and striking red, white, and black nymphs.

The Colts Neck Shade Tree Commission is encouraging residents to educate themselves and to each take small personal environmentally friendly actions to control the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). The SLF is a sap sucker and stresses but does not kill most plants. Thus, chemical treatment which indiscriminately kill most other insects is not warranted. However, the damage to fruit trees and grapevines from SLF is devastating to those industries and requires intervention with pesticides.

The Colts Neck Shade Tree Commission is providing free literature and workshops to build homemade traps that easily attach to trees. Around sixty residents attended the workshop to build traps on Aug. 6. These workshops include complimentary materials to build the trap. “The traps can be put up early spring, cleaned out the end of fall and reapplied the following spring.” These traps can capture the Spotted Lanternfly during all nymph stages of development. The utility of the traps for adults remains tobe determined by residents. The Shade Tree Commission invites residents to join a more comprehensive workshop on Sept. 10 at 9 am at the Colt Neck Library conference room. The workshop will also discuss the pros and cons of treatment with insecticides and of a variety of environmentally friendly treatment options to reduce the SLF population. Free materials will be available to construct varioustypes of traps. We especially encourage children to join an adult at this workshop.

SLF first appeared in the US from its native China around southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014. Despite quarantine efforts, it is now widespread throughout the northeast. The spotted lanternfly’s natural and strongly preferred host is Ailanthus Altissima, commonly known as Tree of Heaven. Tree of Heaven was brought to the eastern US in the 1700 and is now wide-spread and invasive. The state of New Jersey and many municipalities are taking action to reduce the Tree of Heaven population. Check out the New Jersey State website to learn more at www.badbug.nj.gov.

For more information, call 732-462-5470 or email melindanmartin@gmail.com.