ODA confirms first population of Spotted Lanternfly in Ohio
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