The New Jersey Department of Agriculture says that between calls and emails, the office received 10,000 reports of the invasive spotted lanternfly in August, and is now making that reporting even easier with a new, online form.

In a release, the Department also said resources for treatment are available to residents and businesses at badbug.nj.gov — which includes information on other species such as the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, and pineshoot beetle.

But it's the spotted lanternfly that has agricultural officials most worried as the fall begins, as those officials say this is the time when the adults, who will not survive the winter, lay large egg masses that will hatch 30 to 50 nymphs each in the spring.

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Residents continue to be encouraged to stomp on or otherwise destroy the spotted lanternfly, when spotted. They can use an over-the-counter pesticide, but are urged to follow all product directions.

Otherwise, officials said residents may hire businesses that are licensed pesticide applicators to provide treatment.

The spotted lanternfly is not harmful to people or animals, but feeds on dozens of plant species, and is an "excellent hitchhiker," the Department of Agriculture said. So, motorists are being additionally asked to check their vehicles before driving anywhere, to ensure the pests don't become passengers.

The Department has provided an expanded checklist of surfaces on which to search for the spotted lanternfly, and said addresses of sightings can be emailed to SLF-plantindustry@ag.nj.gov.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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