MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Burlington County is seeking residents to assist in wiping out spotted lanternfly egg masses.
Burlington County Parks and Rutgers Cooperative Extension are recruiting volunteers to find and destroy egg masses on trees in county parks and neighborhoods throughout the county.
Interested residents can sign up at the website, here. Volunteers will receive a "Beat the Bug" plastic card to be used to scrape the egg masses from trees and a time sheet to note where the masses were found and the destruction of them.
County officials say nearly two dozen volunteers are already out, searching for the destructive spotted lanternfly egg masses. Officials are asking for more volunteers to help in destroying the invasive species’ eggs before they hatch and ruin crops and trees.
As has been reported, the spotted lanternfly is an invasive, non-native insect from Asia. They feed off fruit trees, woody trees, ornamental trees, grapes and grape vines, vegetables and herbs. In their wake, they leave a sticky mass on leaves, branches and bark.
Spotted lanternfly (USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.)
County officials say eradicating egg masses is not difficult. Egg masses look like pressed and dried bubblegum or a bit of mud on tree trunks, branches and plants. They can even be found on windowsills, furniture, decks or siding.
Spotted lanternfly egg mass
Once an egg mass is found, squash it and scrape the remains with a plastic card or knife. Scrape the mass into a plastic zip bag containing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
The county has a demonstration video on YouTube, here.
Spotted lanternflies are persistent. They were first found in Burlington County in 2019. All 12 of Burlington County’s parks found significant populations in 2020.
Burlington County is under quarantine from the pest along with Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset and Warren Counties. Residents of those counties are encouraged to check their vehicles for the bugs, as they are excellent hitchhikers and will easily travel outside a quarantine zone once attached to vehicles or trailers.
More information on how residents can volunteer can be found here.
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