ODA: Watch for laternfly

The Ohio Department of Agriculture needs help in keeping an eye out for the late nymphs-spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that can cause significant damage to some plants and crops. The insect has not yet been confirmed in Ohio but has been spotted in Pennsylvania.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grape and fruit trees, as well as hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Adult SLF mainly feed on grapevines and tree of heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.

Now through November is the best time to spot the SLF because it is in its most recognizable stages as adult SLF a nymph and a moth. After hatching in the late spring, the SLF goes through four nymph stages. By midsummer, the nymph SLF can be identified by its red body, roughly one-half inch in size, with black stripes and white dots. During the late summer until roughly November, the SLF is in the adult moth stage. These adults are larger, roughly one inch in size, with black bodies and brightly colored wings.

Anyone who has seen an SLF in their area can report a suspected infestation by going to ODA’s Spotted Lanternfly Information Page and filling out a suspected infestation report. They can also call the Plant Pest Control Division at 614-728-6400.

ODA has partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to find the SLF in Ohio as soon as possible. The four organizations are working together to do ground and aerial searches, trappings, and outreach.

For more information about the spotted lanternfly, visit the ODA website.