CINCINNATI, Ohio – Experts warn that you should be on the lookout for the spotted laternfly (Lycorma delicatula).
“The spotted laternfly is a very colorful insect. They’re about an inch long and about a half inch wide. The bio-mount has made the top wing a little bit more transparent. They usually have brown and black spots throughout the whole area, but they are very colorful,” Gene Kritsky, Ph.D. said.
Kritsky is the Dean for the School of Behavioral & Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati.
“The spotted laternfly is an invasive species that’s considered to be a major pest to things like grapevine, hops, apples, fruit trees, oaks, even walnuts,” he said.
Kritsky said the spotted laternfly is the pest of the future and could make its way to Ohio by next Spring.
“So it’s very important that we in Ohio try to find if any spotted laternflies coming into the state. The Ohio State Extension service is actively looking for records in the eastern part of our state to be a vanguard to know if or when they get here. If you should see a spotted laternfly. You can collect it. They are not going to be harmful to you. Put it in a sandwich bag and you can take a photograph of that and send that to various websites to alert the state that you did indeed find a possible spotted laternfly. If you want to kill it in the bag, put in some hand sanitizer with it and dispose of it properly,” he said.
If you see a spotted laternfly, you can also contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture.