Egg masses of Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, on Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, were discovered by an arborist during the week of February 14, 2022 in Amherst, Lorain County. Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the trees the week of February 21st. A formal announcement was made by ODA in early March 2022. So, what can YOU do? Scout!
Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive pest commonly found to infest Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima. In addition, the insect’s 2nd favorite host is grapes which is bad news for vineyards in Ohio. As of this article, infestations have been found in Jefferson County, Cuyahoga County and Lorain County. All 3 of these infestations were found on Tree of Heaven that were growing along railroad tracks.
Infestation was first discovered in the United States near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The insect is a great hitchhiker on railroad cars and trucks. Adults can hop on a train that is idle, and then transported to other locations. Adults can hop off the train then lay eggs on typically Tree of Heaven but also on Mulberry, Morus alba.
The eggs are laid in the fall and stay dormant until they hatch in the spring. The 4th instar is red with white spots and measures around a half inch. The 4th instar is red with white spots and measures around a half inch. The adults can range from an inch to 1 ½ inches. These insects to not bite or pose a threat to people. They do consume large amounts for sap from the phloem tissue causing the plant to look like it is bleeding. In addition, the sap that is consumed and then discarded can drip on lower leaves of the plant in the for of honeydew and can produce sooty mold. Note the ants on the stem searching out honeydew.
So, what can you do?
- Locate Tree of Heaven and scout it once a week (video).
- Load the Great Lakes Early Detection Network App on your Smart Phone (video)
- Scout and ID Spotted Lanternfly (video)
- Report findings to Ohio Department of Agriculture or report on GLEDN App
ODA Report Link (click on Report Infestation):
Together, we can Slow the Spread!