picture of a spotted lanternfly

Option Green: The Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey (Zoom)

Sep 20 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm


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The Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey: What’s Happening in Your Backyard? Rutgers Entomologist to Present Virtual Update on Invasive Insect Sept. 20


Dr. George Hamilton of Rutgers University will present a virtual program on the spread and management of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly in New Jersey at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 20 as part of the Option Green lecture series at the East Brunswick Public Library.

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam. It was first discovered in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in Berks County in 2014 and has spread to other counties in PA, as well to New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.

This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops and hardwood trees. SLF feeds on the plant sap of many different plants including grapevines, maples, black walnut, and other important plants in NJ. While it does not harm humans or animals, it can reduce the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

SLF is a serious invasive pest with a healthy appetite for our plants and it can be a significant nuisance, affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors. It has a strong preference for economically important plants and the feeding damage significantly stresses the plants which can lead to decreased health and potentially death.

Dr. Hamilton has degrees in Environmental Biology (BA), and Entomology (MS, Ph.D.) and has been a member of the Rutgers University faculty since 1987. He is chair of the department of entomology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. His research interests include biological control, the development of IPM tactics to manage pests and invasive insect pests such as the brown marmorated stink bug and spotted lanternfly.

The Option Green series is presented by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission in partnership with the library. The FriendEBEC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation and environmental education. In addition to Option Green, projects include Freecycling Days, the Community Garden, Butterfly Park, Salamander Protection and National Moth Week. For more information and to receive event notices, visit friendsebec.com.

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