Highlands Councilman Donald Melnyk posted this on the Highlands Borough official page. It’s worth reading and looking sharp when outside.
Residents have reported sightings of Spotted Lanternflies in Highlands. This invasive species can be particularly destructive to trees throughout the borough and the surrounding area.
The following is guidance taken from the NJ Department of Agriculture (NJ Dept. of Agriculture) with more about the lanternfly and what you can do to help.
“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. The spotted lanternfly uses its piercing-sucking mouthpart to feed on sap from over 70 different plant species. 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.
As SLF feeds, the insect excretes honeydew (a sugary substance) which can attract bees, wasps, and other insects. The honeydew also builds up and promotes the growth for sooty mold (fungi), which can cover the plant, forest understories, patio furniture, cars, and anything else found below SLF feeding.
If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, help us Stomp it Out!