Many hands make light work. Corso Growers brought over 25 workers to an on-sight field trip to identify and scout for Spotted Lanternfly. That’s dedication!
On Friday, October 6th, 2023, Corso’s Flower and Garden Center brought growers, managers, and workers met and toured an active infestation site of Spotted Lanternfly located in Erie County.
Corso’s Flower and Garden has a retail garden center as well as Corso’s Horticulture on Bardshar Rd. and Corso’s Flower and Garden on Milan Rd has 100 plus acres of perennial plants under production. Chad Corso, President of the company, was very supportive of the training.
The main benefit of the training is having extra sets of eyes looking out for this invasive pest. Because Corso’s is shipping out of state, Ohio Department of Agriculture requires training to occur. Corso’s is getting ahead of the pest to keep a look-out but has not found it yet.
The group gathered and looked at several plants to be able to identify the difference between Tree of Heaven, the favored host plant for Spotted Lanternfly. The group was led by Thomas deHaas, OSU Extension Educator for Erie County, Ohio.
Tree of Heaven, Staghorn Sumac, and Hickory can typically be found growing near each other in Northwest, Ohio.
All 3 trees have pinnately compound leaves, but their fruit is different.
Tree of Heaven has cluster of samaras,
Staghorn Sumac has an upright drupe maroon fruit,
and Walnut has nuts.
Next, the group traveled to the infestation site, located miles away from Corso’s.
Staff was able to observe Spotted Lanternfly adults on Tree of Heaven,
Collect adult Spotted Lanternfly,
Observe freshly laid egg masses,
and hold Spotted Lanternfly.
One message was very important; “THEY DON’T BITE!”
The group asked great questions. One question was “does anything eat them? At this point, the insect has no known natural predators.
Megan Mahoney, Head Grower for Corsos, who organized the trip, is already planning on follow up trips to see nymphs after they emerge.
Way to go, Corsos! It’s always better to be proactive!