They're baa-aaaack!

Spotted Lanternfly season is here. They're hatching, and they're growing up quickly.

Spotted lanternfly on maple tree
Getty Images

You know them when you see them. Those brown and red spotted wings are unmistakable. But before they look like that, they look like this:

This is the spotted lanterfly in its "nymph" stage, shortly after they hatch from their eggs. The red ones are older and closer to adult stage. They almost look like beetles or some sort of evil mutant ladybug. Officials urge you to recognize them in this stage before they grow into adulthood and sprout their wings.

Photo by Jennifer Dries on Unsplash
Photo by Jennifer Dries on Unsplash

Now's the time to spot them before that happens. Right about now, they'll be in their "nymph" stages.

They may be kinda pretty at first glance, but be not fooled; they are PESTS. Although they're not directly dangerous to us or our pets, they're destructive to 70 different types of trees and plants and their poop can attract mold, which can damage our property.

According to CBS News, The state of New Jersey has established "quarantine zones", where lantern fly populations are the highest. If you live in any of these counties, be extra vigilant about spotting these pests in places such as the side of your house, on trees/rocks, and on your vehicles, as they are excellent hitchhikers.

If you do see them, the request is simple: Squash them out!

Here are the Spotted Lanternfly "quarantine zones":

  • Burlington
  • Camden
  • Essex
  • Gloucester
  • Hunterdon
  • Mercer
  • Middlesex
  • Monmouth
  • Morris
  • Salem
  • Somerset
  • Union
  • Warren

These are the counties with smaller populations:

  • Atlantic
  • Bergen
  • Cumberland
  • Hudson
  • Ocean
  • Passaic
  • Sussex

Have you started to see any lantern fly areas? Let us know so others can be on the lookout too!

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