BORDENTOWN – Bordentown City resident Brenna Jobes had an idea to help solve an issue regarding increased sightings of lanternflies in the community since May.
According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), the spotted lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to China, India and Vietnam. It was ﬁrst discovered in the U.S. back in 2014 in Pennsylvania and has since spread to other states like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.
While it does not harm humans or animals, it can reduce the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas because it can feed on sap of over 70 different plants and cause significant damage to those plants, that leads to decreased health and potentially death.
As many residents tried communicating over social media to form group outings to try and kill the lanternflies in heavily infested areas around Bordentown, Jobes took the approach of turning the issue into a city-wide event for all in the community to participate in.
That event was called the Laternfly Murder Pub Crawl, which was held on Aug. 28.
Jobes promoted the event through her social media platform Btown Live News with Brenna and also on the Bordentown City Facebook page.
Around 80 Bordentown City residents participated in the friendly competition of going around the city to kill as many lanternflies as they could for various prizes that were given out by local businesses.
“It was a really fun day,” said Jobes. “We all killed over 6,000 lanternflies. It was a really good community day. Everyone got the chance to come outside and be with people for a good cause.”
The event was held from 12-2 p.m. as all participants met at the Old Town Pub. There, each person or group would receive a kill card where they would tally the number of lanternflies they killed.
Residents would also receive various supplies to help them kill the lanternflies that were donated to the cause by the NJDA.
The NJDA also supplied camo hats for residents to use on their quest to kill the lanternflies.
The group/person that killed the most lanternflies received a first-place plaque. Second place received a gift card to Salon 105. The third-place winner received a gift card to Slip Stitch Avenue.
Bombadil Plant Shop also gave out a gift prize.
The prizes were given out to the winners at The Hob Tavern, where people could go after the event and get $2 off their food bill by showing a kill card.
Tindall Road Brewery provided specials on drinks to residents that partook in the Lantern Murder Pub Crawl as well.
There were also 30 Lanternfly Murder Pub Crawl T-shirts available for purchase that were designed by local businesses Under the Moon Cafe, Shoppe 202 and Mimosa Goods.
Each T-shirt was $25 with half the proceeds going to the Bordentown City Green Team and Christ Episcopal Church, according to Jobes.
Hoping that this event wouldn’t be an “annual thing,” Jobes said that she has gotten great feedback from residents about the Lanternfly Murder Pub Crawl.
She even said some have suggested wanting to do one in the fall when lanternflies start to lay their eggs, so they can reduce more lanternflies from being created.
“I would do it again if the lanternflies still persist,” she said.