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By: Maria Smith, HCS-OSU
Yesterday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture released a press statement regarding the first population of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma delicatula) found in Mingo Junction along the Ohio River. Please view the statement below along with the following information for continued public monitoring for this insect over the winter months.
If you suspect a sighting of SLF in Ohio, file a report immediately with ODA at https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/invasive-pests/slf or by calling the ODA Plant Pest Control line at 614-728-6400. The link to high-resolution photos for media use can be found here.
Monitoring SLF into the fall and winter
Our goal is to delay SLF establishment within Ohio and minimize population growth. We can do this with public help in monitoring and reporting any suspected sightings of this insect currently in its adult form and throughout the winter months by being on the lookout for egg masses. It is important to be also be vigilant for any hitchhikers if you are planning to visit or have visitors/materials that have traveled from known regions with established SLF populations. A current map of SLF distribution may be found at https://nysipm.cornell.edu/environment/invasive-species-exotic-pests/spotted-lanternfly/.
To identify SLF, it's crucial to understand how it appears at various stages of its lifecycle. SLF exhibits only one life cycle per year, with adults that lay eggs beginning in the late summer through fall seasons. Adult SLF are approximately 1 to 1.5" in length with wings closed and 1.5 to 2" in length with wings open. They are known for their distinct coloring and patters (Image 1). During this time, live adults may be found feeding on a range of host plants, although their most preferred host is tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima; Image 2). At the end of the female lifecycle, SLF lay gray, putty-like egg masses on trees or other hard surfaces such as grills, lawn furniture, trailers, etc. (Image 3). These egg masses may contain between 30 to 50 eggs which will hatch during the spring months. For additional details on identifying all life stages, please visit the OSU Extension SLF Factsheet at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-83.
Image 1. Adult SLF wing open (top) and wings closed (bottom). Photos are sourced from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (www.bugwood.org) and published in ANR-83 at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-83.
Image 2. Leaves and seeds of tree-of-heaven, and invasive and weedy tree species from SE Asia. Image source and descriptions can be found at https://bygl.osu.edu/node/1346
Image 3: SLF egg mass example. Photo source: https://news.psu.edu/story/613936/2020/04/02/impact/extension-educators-offer-tips-managing-spring-spotted-lanternfly-egg
Each year grape growers report indicidence of herbicide drift injury in Ohio vineyards. Working together with you and DriftSense, we hope to eliminate one of the root causes of drift injury - bad herbicide application timing. The following is a message from Dr. Doug Doohan, Weed Specialist with OSU Horticulture and Crop Science, describing the goals of DriftSense. If you are interested in collaborating with us on this promising technology, please reach out to Dr. Doohan at email@example.com.
Over the past month I (we) have met on 4 occasions with colleagues from Israel who own and manage a company called DriftSense (https://www.drift-sense.com). DriftSense is a startup firm that is dedicated to helping growers and pesticide applicators reduce the risk of herbicide drift from row-crop fields to vineyards and orchards. They are developing a real-time tool that will forecast time periods when it is safe or unsafe apply herbicides, from the drift-management point of view. We think this technology will be of interest to commercial pesticide applicators and to owners/ managers of high value crops like grape. For you as a vineyard owner and operator the tool, when fully developed, will help you to communicate in real-time with adjacent property owners and applicators, providing them with a science-based risk assessment ie when it is safe or unsafe to spray herbicides. It should also be useful in conducting investigations of drift of uncertain origin and timing.
After listening carefully to their background information, the science and the technology behind DriftSense, I have agreed to reach out to several of my vineyard associates about participating in a validation exercise of their technology. Specifically I am reaching out to you because I know that you have been impacted from herbicide drift from a neighbor’s field. If you agreed to work with DriftSense, at no cost to you and no financial benefit to me or Ohio State University, their team would contact you and garner a few key pieces of information from you; your geographic location, the date and time (if known) of the drift event, and the herbicide involved. With these few pieces of information they will model the 48-72 hour time-periods before and after the drift event(s) you experienced. The outcome of the procedure will be a clear representation of how chemical, application technology, weather conditions, and local geography played into the drift you experienced and it will help DriftSense fine-tune their models and prepare to seek additional startup funding.