New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 6, 2019) – With the invasive spotted lanternfly now in parts of eight counties in New Jersey, Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor George C. Hamilton and Professor Anne L. Nielsen can discuss the spread of and threat posed by the destructive pest.

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula – a colorful Asian planthopper – could be harmful to some New Jersey crops and hardwood trees. The insect was accidentally introduced into Pennsylvania, confirmed in that state in September 2014 and found in New Jersey last year.

The N.J. Department of Agriculture has imposed a quarantine in Mercer, Hunterdon, Warren, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem and Somerset counties. The quarantine requires people and businesses to inspect their vehicles for hitchhiking spotted lanternflies and inspect outdoor items such as firewood, paving stones and lawn equipment for egg masses when they travel or move these items to areas outside the quarantine area. But the insect is not widespread and there has been almost no impact on agriculture in the Garden State, according to an N.J. Department of Agriculture spokesman.

The spotted lanternfly can feed on more than 70 plant species, including cultivated grapes and hops, fruit trees (apple and peach) and hardwood trees (black walnut and red maple). The insect has been found in commercial vineyards in New Jersey, according to Nielsen.

For an interview with George C. Hamilton, a professor who chairs the Department of Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, or Anne L. Nielsen, an associate professor in the Department of Entomology and extension specialist in fruit entomology at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton, please contact Todd Bates at [email protected]


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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.