New Jersey adds 5 more counties to spotted lanternfly quarantine zone
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has added five additional counties to the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone.
Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher announced on Monday that Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex, and Union counties have now joined the quarantine counties of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, and Warren.
“The spotted lanternfly’s excellent hitchhiking skills on all types of transportation have allowed it to spread, making it necessary to expand the quarantine zone,” Fisher said in a statement.
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The state has issued a checklist for any residents living in the quarantine zones. Residents should check certain items such as bicycles, trashcans, garden tools and trees for signs of the bugs.
State officials say that the spotted lanternfly is an invasive species that kills plants around the state. The bugs can't fly until they reach adulthood in several weeks. Their feeding weakens plants. When they excrete, their sugary leavings attract mold which smothers the tree, plant or vine to death.
All New Jerseyans are urged to destroy any spotted lanternfly that they come across when possible.