A population of Spotted Lanternflies has been found in Mingo Junction just south of Steubenville, along the Ohio River. The initial report came from a resident who spotted a dead adult SLF on October 19. When Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Plant Pest Control inspectors arrived, they were able to capture five live adult SLF in trees located nearby.
The ODA has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to do visual surveys, insect trapping, and outreach in the region.
As explained on wtov9.com, SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grapevines, fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Adult SLF are attracted to the invasive Ailanthus tree, also known as tree-of-heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.