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How to kill a spotted lanternfly safely

Despite their colorful exteriors, the red and black adult spotted lanternflies that live throughout Hudson County are not welcome visitors. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect species that does not harm humans or animals, but is extremely harmful to plants and trees. New Jersey is known as the Garden State for a reason, the state’s abundant flora and agricultural businesses are important to protecting the beauty that helps the state thrive – which means killing these invasive insects whenever you can. We have collected some tips and tricks to help you get rid of these errors safely. Read on to learn more about how to safely kill lanternflies.

what is happening

The spotted lanternfly was first reported in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, the fault has been found all over the East Coast, including New Jersey. During this stage of the insect’s life cycle, most of the bugs are adults, which residents have reported seeing throughout Hudson County. They have red wings with black spots and are about the size of a quarter. Residents who spot the pest are encouraged to report and kill it.

Lanterfly Bugs New Jersey Hoboken

The spotted lanternfly is a serious invasive pest with a healthy appetite for our plants and can cause a significant nuisance. New Jersey Dept. of AgricultureAffects quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors.

The spotted lanternfly uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the sap of more than 70 different plant species. It has a strong preference for economically important plants, and feeding damage can significantly stress plants, leading to reduced health and potentially death. And, let’s be honest, they’re pretty gross to look at.

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What you can do

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has more information for residents on how to manage the spotted lanternfly, including a month-by-month breakdown of what actions are recommended based on the bug’s life cycle. In August and September, residents are advised to destroy any life forms of insects, including the application of insecticides.

Wanted a lanternfly poster

The fastest and most effective way to kill a spotted lanternfly is to literally throw it out. In fact, the NJ Department of Agriculture’s main campaign is called “Stamp It Out.” While squashing a few bugs here and there may be satisfying, residents may encounter multiple bugs at once. To control large numbers of pests, residents may need to turn to more effective pest management methods.

Pesticides are very effective, and while they are commonly available, residents living in densely populated areas may not want to apply chemicals to areas they share with other humans, pets, and children. Several affected townships in New Jersey shared more natural ways to manage pests without using chemicals. Below are several recommendations from Bordentown, Montgomery and Princeton Townships.


Vinegar kills spotted lanternflies on contact. Although vinegar can be diluted, it is most effective when sprayed directly on the insect, regardless of its lifespan. Spray on or near weeds you don’t care for, as vinegar can also damage the underlying plant.

Insecticidal soap

A solution of insecticidal soap can be sprayed directly on any life cycle of the lanternfly. Applying a mist of solution over a large surface area where there is evidence of infestation is an effective way to kill pests. Another use of insecticidal soap is to mix it with apple cider vinegar in a jar and place it outdoors with a lid near the infected area. Insects are attracted to the solution, which is toxic to them.

the vacuum

It’s too easy to be effective, but it is. Use a shop-vac or any other type of vacuum to clear the area of ​​pests. Once they’re in the can, spray them with soap and water or another natural insecticide to make sure they’re dead.

Soap and water

Another simple way to kill lanternflies is a homemade lantern fly spray made with liquid soap and water. Dawn or a related brand of dish soap works well. Add 1/4 cup of liquid soap to a quart of water and one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Soapy water suffocates and kills bugs.

Neem oil

Neem oil is a natural fungicide and insecticide derived from the seeds of the neem tree. It becomes active when lanternfly bugs and other insects ingest the substance. This method takes some time to work, as neem oil affects the feeding ability of insects. They eventually starve to death. There are many commercially available products that contain neem oil, or it can be prepared at home. A simple homemade drop lanternfly spray recipe involves mixing 4 teaspoons of neem oil with 2 teaspoons of liquid soap and a gallon of water, poured into a spray bottle. The solution should be sprayed directly on the insects.

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Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring material from fossilized remains and looks like white sand. DE is effective as a pest control agent because it dehydrates bugs and insects upon contact with the material. As it only harms insects with an exoskeleton, it is not harmful to humans or animals. Be sure to use food-grade DE and dust the affected area with it, or spray by combining 4 tablespoons of DE in a gallon of water.

DIY traps

Soap trap

Mix dish soap with apple cider vinegar in a jar and stir well. Open the jar and place where bugs are found, including hanging the open jar on a tree. Multiple jars can be used to cover a large area.

Circle Trap

This trap uses netting, tubing and a plastic bag to trap the bugs. Begin by wrapping netting around the affected tree and place the netting firmly against the tree. Attach a tube to one end of the net and attach a plastic bag to the bottom of the net. This YouTube video shows how to set up the device. The bugs crawl up the tree and take to the funnel. Once the bugs are in the plastic bag, be sure to kill them using soap, water, essential oil or another insecticide to make sure they are dead.

Milkweed Bite

Milkweed is a wildflower that attracts spotted lanternflies. Its juice is poisonous to lanternflies. Those that don’t die instantly move slowly, making them easier to catch and kill.

Hoboken girl Will update readers as more local information becomes available.

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