We first published this article in 2018 and 4 years later we can report that the Spotted Lanternfly Fly has invaded New Jersey!

The best way to kill them is to step on them! And look for their egg masses that can survive the winter. Their egg masses look like smeared, gray, cracked mortar and can be found on most any surface. To kill them, scrap the eggs completely off the surface into a jar of alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Spotted Lanternfly: The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) has found the spotted lanternfly in several counties around the state. A quarantine is in place while treatment is underway. The Spotted Lanternfly travels well on vehicles, produce, and wood-based materials. By mid-August, it will be in its adult stage. Host plants for the Spotted Lanternfly include Willow trees, Tree of Heaven (Ailantus) and cash crops such as grape vines and hops.

Quarantine involves placing restrictions on what goods can be transported in and out of the quarantined areas.

If you need help spotting or removing these pests, call us today at 201-869-5680.

Below is the original post from 2018.

You love having trees in your yard. They provide beauty, privacy, and the all-important shade on these hot summer days. What happens when you closely inspect those trees and find that the leaves are looking scraggly? Or there are small insects present that you can see have been eating away at the trees? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has sent out its yearly reminder that August is Tree Check Month.

Here are some insects to look out for on your trees, and what you can do about them:

Asian Longhorn Beetle: Asian longhorn beetle infested trees are safety hazards. According to the USDA, you don’t want them on your property because they can drop branches and tree tops, and storm damage becomes much worse.

The Asian longhorn beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of trees, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees. The USDA says there is currently no cure to save infested trees. Infested trees need to be removed to keep the beetle from spreading to nearby trees, as well as to protect homes and other personal property since infested trees will eventually die.

The beetle has distinctive markings that are easy to recognize:

  • Long antennae with black and white bands, longer than its body.
  • A shiny, jet-black body, about 1” to 1 ½” long, with white spots.
  • Six legs with possible bluish-colored legs and feet.

Signs of infestation include:

  • Round exit holes, about the size of a dime or smaller, in tree trunks and branches.
  • Shallow oval or round scars in the bark, where the adult beetle has chewed an egg site.
  • Sawdust-like material, called frass, on the ground around the tree or in the branches.
  • Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.

Fall webworms: These appear in late summer into early fall. They are similar to the eastern tent caterpillar, spinning ugly nests in the crotches of tree branches. Fall webworms are the larval form of a small white moth seen in summer months. The caterpillars are about an inch long with pale yellow coloring. They will spend the duration of their larval state inside these nests, feasting on the leaves inside of the nests. As they eat the leaves, the webbed nest expands to accommodate foliage.

Eventually the nests will break apart, dropping future moths to the ground. Adults will emerge in late spring, laying hundreds of eggs on the underside of leaves, and the cycle begins again.

To remove fall webworms, use a rake or long pole to pull down the webs and destroy the webworms by hand.

Insecticides are usually not necessary for control of webworms, but in extreme cases, a light coating of insecticide may be useful. As the caterpillars move within the nest, they will come into contact with the insecticide.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar: These full-grown caterpillars, about two inches long, are hairy and black with a row of pale blue spots on each side. They have a white stripe down the center of their backs that makes them easy to identify. Adults (1-1/2 inches long) are reddish brown moths with two white bands running diagonally across each forewing. Host plants include cherry, apple and crabapple, but they can be found on a variety of shade trees.

To remove the Eastern Tent Caterpillar:

  1. Scrape off and discard egg masses and tear the protective tents out by hand before the larvae start to feed.
  2. Restrict caterpillar movement and cut off access to feeding areas.
(ABOVE) Spotted Lanternfly and egg masses
(ABOVE) Asian Longhorn Beetle
(ABOVE) Fall Webworms
(ABOVE) Eastern Tent Caterpillar