Oh no! Lantern Flies in Ocean County! What now?

When it comes to gardening, you like some insects and some you don’t. The “spotted lanternfly” is one of those insects that ends up on the “hate” list of insects. The “spotted lanternfly” is destructive when it comes to gardening.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “The spotted lanternfly causes severe damage, including sap leaking, wilting, leaf curling, and death to trees, vines, crops, and many other plant species. In addition to causing plant damage, spotted lanternflies secrete a sugary substance called honeydew when feeding, which encourages the growth of black sooty mold. This mold is harmless to humans but causes damage to plants.”

Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels

This week we spotted some “spotted lanternflies” in my wife’s yard here in Ocean County. Oh no! what now? Well, the first thing we did after identifying the insect was do some research and come up with a game plan.

Plant Princeton Compile a list of recommendations on how to get rid of “spotted lanternflies” and they have ten tips to incorporate into your garden. The article also includes an email address and phone number to report “spotted lanternfly” discoveries here in the Garden State.

Another resource we discovered is neem oil. neem oil can be used for certain insect and fungal disease problems. The concentrated neem oil is diluted with water and applied to the affected vegetation. We have ordered the oil and will be using this once a week for up to 10 days, hopefully to drive away the spotted lanternfly.

According to that National Pesticide Information Center, neem oil seems safe for humans. Corresponding Horticultural know-how, Neem oil is virtually non-toxic to birds, fish, bees, and wildlife, and studies have shown that its use has no cancer or other disease-causing consequences. This makes neem oil very safe to use when used properly. We will let you know how things are going in our garden.

Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels

There is also a wildlife proof trap that you can use as well. Take a moment to watch this “how-to” video.

Please don’t hesitate to share your tips and/or input on how to deal with “spotted lanternfly”.

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