Invasive, destructive insect found in Ohio

Ohio

This Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, photo shows a spotted lanternfly at a vineyard in Kutztown, Pa. The spotted lanternfly has emerged as a serious pest since the federal government confirmed its arrival in southeastern Pennsylvania five years ago this week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – A population of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly has been found on the east side of Cleveland.

According to a release by the ODA, A tree care professional notified the ODA of this discovery. Inspectors later confirmed that living, adult Spotted Lanternflies were in the area, as well as in a secondary location nearby. Both locations are connected by a railroad line.

The Spotted Lanternfly is a danger to the grape and wine industry, ODA says. The insect is fond of grapevines, fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.

According to the ODA website, The Spotted Lanternfly cannot fly very far, but can easily be spread by people moving infested materials or those containing egg masses.

From late summer through November, the Spotted Lanternfly is in the adult stage, ODA says. The Spotted Lanternfly will be most easily recognized at this stage as a larger insect with a black body and brightly colored wings. The nymphs hatch in the spring, and by midsummer, they can be identified by their half-inch red body, with black stripes and white dots.

ODA says it is working with the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to do visual surveys, insect trapping, and outreach in the region.

For more information about the Spotted lanternfly, or if you believe you have seen the Spotted Lanternfly in your area, click here.

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