Oh No! Lanternflies in Ocean County! What to Do Now?
When it comes to gardening, some insects you like and some insects you do not. The "spotted lanternfly" is one of those insects that end 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 serious damage including oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling and dieback in trees, vines, crops and many other types of plants. In addition to plant damage, when spotted lanternflies feed, they excrete a sugary substance, called honeydew, that encourages the growth of black sooty mold. This mold is harmless to people however it causes damage to plants."
This week we discovered some "spotted lanternflies" in my wife's garden right here in Ocean County. Oh no! now what? Well, the first thing we did after identifying the insect was to research and figure out a game plan.
Plant Princeton put together a referral list of how to destroy "spotted lanternflies" and they have ten tips that you can incorporate into your garden. The article also has an email 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 issues. The concentrated Neem Oil is diluted with water and applied to the affected vegetation. We have ordered the oil and will use this once a week to ten days to hopefully drive the "spotted lanternfly" away.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, Neem Oil appears safe for humans. According to Gardening Know How, Neem Oil is nearly non-toxic to birds, fish, bees, and wildlife, and studies have shown no cancer or other disease-causing results from its use. This makes neem oil very safe to use if applied properly. We will let you know how it goes in our garden.
There is also a wildlife-safe trap that you can use as well. Take a moment to watch this "how-to" video.
Please feel free to share your tips and/or input when dealing with "spotted lanternfly"
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