The spotted lanternfly can damage more than 70 plant species, including many fruits. ( Courtesy NJ Department of Agriculture )

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first sighting of the spotted lanternfly — which feeds on a wide range of fruit — in the state.

Although it is known to damage more than 70 different plant species, it prefers the Tree of Heaven as a host, as in the case of the sighting in Warren County, N.J., according to a news release from the state’s agriculture department.

The site has been treated and surveillance is continuing there and along the Delaware River border. The NJ and U.S. Departments of Agriculture are asking travelers to and from Pennsylvania to inspect their vehicles before returning to New Jersey, according to the release.

A hotline to report spotted lanternfly sightings has been established; residents can call (833) 223-284o and leave a message. Photos can be e-mailed to SLF-plantindustry@ag.nj.gov.

 
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