New Jersey Residents Now Quarantining Over Bug Infestation

Illustration for article titled New Jersey Residents Now Quarantining Over Bug Infestation
Image: AP Photo/Matt Rourke (AP)

As if New Jersey/the world didn’t have enough problems, an invasive insect (not this guy) has swaths of state residents trapped in their homes. Where, to be fair, they probably should be already, so perhaps this is actually good timing.

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CNN reports that eight New Jersey counties are now under additional (pandemic still happening!!!) quarantine thanks to the spotted lanternfly, an insect native to China and South Korea that poses a threat to more than 70 plant and crop species. The spotted lanternfly first laid seige to Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014, but it seems it was spotted (ha ha) (don’t kill me) in the Garden State recently.

The insect is an “excellent hitchhiker” and loves hanging out on moving vehicles, so residents in Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, and Somerset counties have to check their cars before going anywhere.

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Officials are also urging residents to “destroy the spotted lanternfly if possible when they see it,” which seems rude. Can’t they just put the bug in a jar? A nice pet for the family? Just spitballing. Anyway, I can’t imagine being trapped in my home over a deadly pandemic AND a plant-deadly bug infestation, but I suppose with the Arctic warming it’s only a matter of time until the air’s unbreathable and we’re all stuck inside all the time no matter what! I am a joy at parties, if we ever have them again!

Night blogger, author of GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE.

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DISCUSSION

Hi. In New Jersey, there is an insect infestation. Parts of Iowa have been levelled by high winds and many have been without power for days. And in Northern California, we were hit by an electrical storm sparking various wildfires. The one in Tahoe is considered a “firenado.” Climate change is happening and it is happening fast.

I’m 51 years old and for the vast majority of my life have lived here and can only recall two electrical storms. Last night, and aboooout six years ago. Five or six years ago, wildfires weren’t even on my radar (no question, I was afraid of houses burning) for suburban areas. Now, I wonder how much longer I can live in California. And I am afraid that it is a matter of years and not decades.