What you can do to help stop the spotted lanternfly that's invading parts of NJ

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Officials and scientists in New Jersey are asking for the public's help in fighting back an invasive pest known as the spotted lanternfly that's destroying plants and trees.

"They're not aggressive, They kind of look like pretty cockroaches," Truesdale Nursery'sJanice Keegan said. "They're very colorful, they're pretty but they're flies and they're dangerous to our trees and our plant."

Keegan and the other staff at Truesdale Nursery in Warren Township, New Jersey are following the rules now that Somerset has been added to the New Jersey eight county quarantine zone to try to contain the invasive bug.

They're shaking down trees and inspecting all products that come into the nursery to avoid an infestation.

The State Department of Agriculture is encouraging citizens to go on search and destroy missions.

If you see a spotted lanternfly, you are supposed to kill it, but they're quick, they jump.

"It's important to destroy the lanternfly whenever you see it because it's an invasive insect that is not native to the United States, Rutgers Entomology Professor George Hamilton said.

Hamilton said he feels even more counties should be added to the quarantine list

"Wherever it is established, it has created some environmental and also agricultural issues," Hamilton said.

The rules to contain the species ask that you don't move, wooden products like debris, bark, yard waste, firewood, construction waste, and also inspect outdoor household articles like recreational vehicles, lawn tractors, mowers, grills, outdoor furniture, tile, stone, and firepits.

When you're transporting materials like brick, for example, from place to place, you're supposed to look before you leave.

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