August 2021p

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive planthopper species, native to southern Asia. It was first identified in Berks County, PA, in September 2014, but has relentlessly spread. Sadly, it has now been spotted in Glen Ridge. And it poses a great threat to both trees and other important plants. The information in this issue of GreenFlash was originally published in the August 2019 issue.

Now You See It, Now You Don't...
young lanternflies

Despite being known for its colorful aspects, this insect goes through several phases and can be deceptively hard to spot. The non-flying nymphs that emerge in the spring start out black with white spots and soon turn red with white spots and black bands. As colorful as they become, however, they are very small, never growing larger than one-half inch.

...But When You Do, Death and Goo
Join the Fight to Beat the Bug!

If left unstopped, it is estimated that the lanternflies could do billions of dollars worth of damage in NJ alone. Therefore, the Department of Agriculture asks all of us to be on the alert for this pest. And when you see one, squish it! At this time of year, adult lanternflies are busy depositing egg sacks on smooth-barked trees, stones, buildings, planters, cars, lawn furniture, machinery, and even bikes and scooters. While they may look like mere smears of mud, each sack contains 30 to 50 eggs.

Egg masses can be scraped off, double bagged, and thrown away. They can also be destroyed -- after removal -- with hand sanitizer, bleach, or alcohol. Foliar pesticides have proved effective -- particularly when injected into the roots. However, that should be done by a professional in late spring or early summer.

If you see lanternflies or their egg masses, you are also asked to contact the Dept. of Agriculture's special hotline number 833-BAD-BUG-0 (833-223-2840 or email

For more information go to:

The Shade Tree Commission wants to be your resource on all things "trees." If you have concerns, questions or issues, do not hesitate to contact us at
Elizabeth Baker, Chair
Larry Stauffer
Joan Lisovicz
Robert Baum
Tina Seaboch