Before I say anything else, the purpose of this article is not to discourage anyone from buying a live Christmas Tree this year. This is just information you should have if you plan on buying a live tree in New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been very proactive in it's efforts to prevent the spread of this very invasive insect.
The Spotted Lantern Fly came from China and South East Asia. It has been spreading through Pennsylvania and has now crossed the Delaware River into Mercer, Warren and Hunterdon Counties. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been trying to "Quarantine" the insects. Christmas Tree Growers in New Jersey are getting help from the state to help prevent their spread as well.
Anyone buying a pre-cut Christmas Tree this year should carefully check to make sure no eggs or live insects are clinging to the trunk or branches. Spotted Lantern Flies are not directly dangerous to humans. However, they will cause extensive damage to trees and crops. According to the U.S.D.A the fluid excreted by the insects promotes mold growth and attracts more Spotted Lantern Flies.
New Jersey has a Spotted Lantern Fly Hotline: 833-223-2840.
Source: Princeton Patch
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