How Can We Manage the Spotted Lanternfly?

Adult Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) have been increasing in prevalence in Hudson County. Spotted Lanternfly feed on the plant sap of many different plants including grapevines, maples, black walnut, and other important plants in NJ. As the Spotted Lanternfly feeds, it excretes honeydew (a sugary substance) which can attract bees, wasps, and other insects. The honeydew also builds up and promotes the growth for sooty mold (fungi),which can cover the plant, and eventually kill the plant. Although not directly harmful to animals and humans, the insect can greatly impact agricultural crops and hardwood trees.

The Spotted Lanternfly lays eggs on the bark of certain trees, most commonly the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), or any flat surface such as rocks, lawn furniture, firewood, boats, pallets or anything left outdoors, some of which can be transported to new locations.

Ailanthus altissima, Tree of Heaven (credit: The Nature Conservancy)

Stomp It Out!

If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, help us carefully stomp it out!  It is important to Stomp Out the adult Spotted Lanternfly (pictured above) to prevent them from egg masses.

Report an Infestation on Private Property

Report infestations of spotted lanternfly on neighboring property, to the City of Hoboken using the Report a Concern Tool or SDL Citizen App (iOS, Android) or email recycling@hobokennj.gov so that the Department of Environmental Services can inspect.

The Hudson County Regional Health Commission (HRHC) and Mosquito Commission will be employing trapping, chemical treatment and systemic treatment of trees. Residents can call HRHC at 201-223-1133 to request service.

Trees on Private Property

Per Hoboken City Code, property owners are responsible for caring for street trees and tree pits in the public right-of-way in front of their property, as well as all vegetation on their private property including back yards. Spotted lanternfly are considered a public nuisance, regulated by Chapter 136 Nuisances of the Hoboken City Code.

The City requires property owners with Ailanthus altissima infested with spotted lanternfly to take measures to help control them. Control procedures include pesticide (insecticide) application or removal of Ailanthus altissima trees, or any combination thereof, to reduce the available host of the spotted lanternfly and to decrease the population of spotted lanternfly.

All control procedures should conform with methods approved by the NJ Department of Agriculture, in addition to all applicable federal, state, and municipal laws and ordinances.

For small sightings of spotted lanternfly, certain studies show that white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water filled in a spray bottle or neem oil can kill spotted lanternfly. Net circle traps can be used. Neem oil traps can also be used. Learn more about homemade spotted lanternfly spray. Learn more about circle traps at https://www.greatlakesipm.com/monitoring/traps/great-lakes-ipm/glgl401100-spotted-lanternfly-slf-trap-replaceable-bag-design.

For infestations of spotted lanternfly on Ailanthus altissima, property owners should contact a New Jersey licensed tree care expert or Licensed Pest Control Operator to treat the infested tree with insecticide or remove the tree, depending on the severity of the infestation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, where spotted lanternfly have been present for longer than New Jersey, recommends destroying approximately 90% of the Ailanthus altissima trees on a property and using the remaining trees as “trap” trees. The trap trees must then be treated with a systemic insecticide. Treatment is required every 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity of the infestation. When spotted lanternfly feeds on the treated trees, they will die.

All egg masses should be removed by scraping them off the tree. Adult egg laying starts in September through December and egg masses contain 30-50 eggs.

Typical Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass (credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org)

Trees on Public Property

Spotted lanternfly have been seen throughout Hudson County and Hoboken has seen massing of adult Spotted Lanternfly in certain parks.

City of Hoboken

The City is working with a certified arborist and NJ Licensed Tree Expert from Almstead Tree, Shrub & Lawn Care on an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for managing the Spotted Lanternfly in City parks. Almstead routinely surveys and treats all City-owned parks for massing of Spotted Lanternfly.

  • Any current massing of Spotted Lanternfly will be spot treated with a spray application directly on the insects of PyGanic, an organic insecticide. PyGanic is an organically approved, broad-spectrum contact insecticide derived from Chrysanthemum flowers.
  • All trees adjacent to those with massing of Spotted Lanternfly as well as all tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), where the Spotted Lanterfly typically feed and lay eggs, will receive a preventive application to the trunk of Zylam Liquid insecticide. This application will have a 30-day control and treated trees will be monitored for any necessary additional treatment.
  • Any egg masses will be carefully removed by scraping the bark.

All individual treated trees are flagged with standard 72-hour no entry flags to inform the public. Please do not touch flagged trees.

All insecticide applications will be as limited as possible taking an IPM approach (rather than broad spraying) and performed by a NJ Licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicator.

Hudson County

Hudson County has a licensed pesticide applicator who treats infested trees at Hudson County parks and public property using similar products as the City of Hoboken. Specific areas treated include the 14th Street viaduct park near the dog run along the palisades.

The Hudson County Regional Health Commission (HRHC) and Mosquito Commission will be employing trapping, chemical treatment and systemic treatment of trees. Residents can call HRHC at 201-223-1133 to request service.

NJ Transit

NJ Transit is working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), who has taken the lead on treatments of public transportation properties. Specific areas affected include the Hudson-Bergen Light rail along the palisades.

Learn More

The following resources provide more information about Spotted Lanternfly:

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

New Jersey Department of Agriculture

Penn State Agricultural Extension Service

Rutgers Agricultural Extension Service

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