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ODA confirms first population of Spotted Lanternfly in Ohio

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

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 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

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


Image 1: Spotted lanternfly with wings fully extended. Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, bugwood.orgImage 2: Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula. Credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,
Image 1. Adult SLF wing open (top) and wings closed (bottom). Photos are sourced from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture ( and published in ANR-83 at

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
What about managing SLF within vineyards?
First, SLF is not yet within Ohio vineyards, so there is no need for additional control beyond current insect pests. Continuing to monitor and report SLF is still the top priority for delaying its arrival in vineyards. At OSU, we are dedicated to continuing to provide public awareness and education about this insect. Printed materials in the from of wallet-sized ID cards and print-out posters from OSU Extension are currently available for you to use in this effort, with more promotional and awareness materials forthcoming. If you have not received these printed cards or have run out, please contact me at
We know that being prepared with best managment practices will be key to controlling SLF once its populations increase enough for it to infest our vineyards. We are planning educational programing to address control of SLF in vineyards and answer your managment questions with entomology experts at the 2021 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference. To also aid in understading SLF in vineyards, a summary of current strategies can be found through Penn State University Extension at
October 28, 2020 - 1:17pm --