Trapping for Spotted Lanternfly provides opportunity to track movement

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United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, and The Ohio State University team up to trap for Spotted Lanternfly.


USDA/APHIS and OSU teamed up to set Spotted Lanternfly traps in Huron, Erie, and Ottawa Counties.







Six traps were set up in various geographical locations to try to determine the spread of this invasive insect.


Jude, acting as a Plant Protection and Quarantine technician was hired by USDA/Aphids to check traps weekly.







Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive insect that is native to Native to China, India, and Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand. Spotted Lanternfly, also known as SLF, is a plant hopper. It is not a fly.








It sucks sap from trees, shrubs, and vines. It is actually a phloem feeder and can consume copious amounts of sap. Some of the sap is not totally digested and leaves the insect as honeydew, a sticky sweet substance that falls below where the insect is feeding and can form on leaves, cars, or anything that is below the feeding area. This sticky substance can attract and bees or wasps that will feed on the honeydew. It can also lead to the formation of sooty mold which will form on leaves and other surfaces. Its favored host plant is Tree of Heaven, an invasive tree from the same part of the world.








It does not bite or hurt people and is really a very pretty insect.








Spotted Lanternfly was originally detected near Philadelphia in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. Since that time, it has been transported to other parts of North America, mostly by modes of transported, specifically train cars, mobile home campers, cars, and trucks. It is a ‘hitchhiker’ and can find its way into almost any vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, it can go wherever that vehicle is headed. For trains and trucks that can be hundreds of miles.







Once the vehicle stops, the spotted lanternfly can ‘hop’ off and typically search for tree of heaven, which coincidentally grows along railroad tracks. One here it begins to feed and eventually, the females lay eggs. The following spring, those eggs hatch and a new infestation begins. Egg hatch has occurred in Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Erie Counties in Ohio.








The main problem is Spotted Lanternfly not only feeds on Tree of Heaven but seventy other trees, shrubs, and vines. The big fear is its second favorite hosts are grape vines and fruit trees.







When SLF feeds, it can reduce the cold hardiness of the plant which can cause death to that plant.


Traps were deployed in the following municipalities:


Norwalk in Huron County close to the Ernsthausen Recreation Center.








Milan in Erie County, next to Dobson’s Auto Repair Center.








Castalia in Erie County close to Ebert’s Garage.








Sandusky in Erie County in the general vicinity of Firelands Winery.








Marblehead, Ohio in Ottawa County next to the Forest RV Park.








And Port Clinton, Ohio in Ottawa County on the grounds of Gideon Owen Wine Company.








The goal of the trapping is “new location detentions”  on not surveying known infestations.


The traps are intended to catch adults which probably won’t occur until July or August.


Stay tuned for future developments!