Spotted lanterns concern for specialty crops
OHIO – The spotted lantern fly may soon become a problem for many specialty farmers across Ohio.
In late August, a tree care professional reported a population of spotted flies in northeast Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“It’s a big concern for many of our specialty crops, so think of the grape and wine industries as an example. This particular creature really loves vines. It will also attack fruit trees. that we produce here. (They) get after the hops. We are seeing a growth in the hop industry with the explosion of all micro and craft breweries in the state, ”said Andy Vance, Agriculture Expert at Spectrum News 1.
Vance said the insect will also attack oaks, poplars, pines and walnuts.
“(It’s) not something that’s necessarily going to destroy our major agricultural crops, but in these specialty crop industries it’s a big concern,” Vance said.
The insect feeds on stems and leaves, swarming with trees, causing sap to bleed, ultimately killing the tree.
The insect has been located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The spotted fly could cost the Pennsylvania economy hundreds of millions of dollars, according to researchers at Penn State University.
The insect was found on the east side of Cleveland.
ODA plant pest inspectors have confirmed the find as well as a second location of the insect near the original find, according to the ODA.
“The public is the first line of defense,” Vance said. “If you think you see a spotted lantern, you have to report it … It really is the most important thing to do.”
Residents of Ohio can report a suspected spotted fly infestation to the ODA Plant Pest Management Division at 614-728-6400.