More spotted lanternflies (SLF) are being found along the East Coast to the Midwest in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), SLF populations are currently found in 14 states including: Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. SLF feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts. SLF are invasive and can be spread long distances by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses. Juvenile spotted lanternflies, known as nymphs, and adults prefer to feed on the invasive tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but also feed on a wide range of crops and plants, including grapes, apples, hops, walnuts and hardwood trees.
Recently, PMP digital editor Ellen Wagner saw a lanternfly outside the North Coast Media office in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, in August. However, it flew away before she was able to kill it. Her dad saw one on Sept. 4 in Cleveland and sent a photo to her after he killed it and reported it to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
On Sept. 7, a SLF was found in the News 5 parking lot in Cleveland. According to News 5, the news anchor that found the lanternfly killed it and reported it to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
If you or a customer thinks you have seen a SLF, check out the information in your state to report it to the USDA and its local affiliate.