JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – There’s a potential danger to plants in parts of the Ohio Valley, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture needs the public’s help to stop it.
The invasive Spotted Lanternfly was spotted in Mingo Junction.
The Department of Agriculture said a resident spotted the dead insect on a building. They surveyed the area and found other Spotted Lanternflies in nearby trees.
Vinyards and orchards are the biggest concern, because the insect can attack apples and grapes and ruin the quality of the fruits. They could also eventually kill those plants and other varieties of trees.
The Spotted Lanternfly is in its adult phase right now. It’s about an inch in size with a black body and brightly colored wings.
Right now, the Department of Agriculture needs the public to be on the lookout. They advise if you see a Spotted Lanternfly, take clear photos and note the exact location. Then report it.
Don’t be afraid if you don’t think it is, or don’t know. Send a picture anyway. We’ve got entomologists at our department that can determine what insect it may be. Just let us know if you see something strange.David Adkins, Ag Inspection Manager, Plant Pest Control Section, Ohio Department of Agriculture
Also, if you plan to travel to the East Coast; like parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, make sure you don’t bring any Spotted Lanternflies back on your vehicle.
If you’re traveling from the East Coast, visiting relatives over the holidays and stuff, make sure your vehicles are clean of any hitchhikers, of any insect coming back to Ohio.David Adkins, Ag Inspection Manager, Plant Pest Control Section, Ohio Department of Agriculture
Adkins said there will be another intense search of the area in Mingo Junction to look for egg masses and determine if there is an established population of the Spotted Lanternfly in Jefferson County.
We will destroy the egg masses if we find them. We also want to determine how widespread it is. So, our survey will determine that as well and if we have to do additional whole tree treatments.David Adkins, Ag Inspection Manager, Plant Pest Control Section, Ohio Department of Agriculture
If you’d like to learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly, or report a sighting, visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website.