SLF Update - Ohio's Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expanded and More

Published on


As spotted lanternfly (SLF) adult activity winds down for the 2023 season, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has updated the Ohio SLF quarantine. 


Ohio SLF Quarantine Map, October 2023


Currently there are 11 Ohio counties that are quarantined as a way to reduce, or hopefully eliminate, the artificial spread of SLF to other non-infested areas. Those quarantined counties include: Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Muskingum, and Ottawa. 


While there have been single finds of SLF in several other Ohio Counties, a quarantine is enacted when a reproducing population is discovered. This includes finding multiple life-stages, and often includes egg masses, not just a single find. 


As temperatures have dipped below the freezing point in much of Ohio, a temperature that would normally kill the adult stage of SLF, there could be microclimates that could have slowed the adult stage and not killed them, but as temperatures warm, so does their activity. Recently, I collected several SLF adults in one of the infestations in Toledo. They weren't moving on the tree. I placed them in a baggie, and when temperatures warmed that day, they began moving in the baggie. 


Sooner of later, all of the SLF adults will be killed by cold temperatures, but the egg masses will survive Ohio's winters. As we transition to looking for egg masses, know that they can easily blend into their surroundings. 


The female will lay between 30 and 50 eggs. This eggs are arranged in rows  and often covered a creamy-white, putty-like substance that becomes more gray as it dries.


Female SLF Covering Her Egg Mass
Photo Credit:  Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University,


The covering starts out very smooth and almost glossy, but as it ages over the winter, it cracks and looks almost like dried mud. 


Below is a photo that shows exposed or uncovered eggs, and a second mass that was covered and has begun to age. 


SLF Egg Masses, One Covered and One Not
Photo Credit: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University,


It is important to realize that egg masses can be laid on a variety of surfaces that don't have to be plant related.


SLF Egg Masses on Picnic Bench
Photo Credit: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University,



SLF Egg Masses on Rusty Barrel
Photo Credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,


If you happen to see what you suspect is a SLF egg mass this winter or early spring, capture a photo and document the location. Suspect reports can be made through the ODA's Plant and Pest Reporter ( or using the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN).