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Kill ‘Em If You Spot ‘Em

Photo may be viewed in color at ArchboldBuckeye.com under the Opinion category. Photo courtesy MDNR.

Photo may be viewed in color at ArchboldBuckeye.com under the Opinion category. Photo courtesy MDNR.

The spotted lanternfly could flourish in Ohio.

And cost the economy jobs and millions of dollars a year.

The invasive species, which is causing major damage in southeastern Pennsylvania, has now been discovered 15 miles from the Ohio border in Beaver County, Pa.

Ohio Division of Forestry officials ask outdoor enthusiasts returning from Pennsylvania, especially its eastern counties, to do their fellow citizens a favor by checking their gear, vehicles, and clothing for the bugs or lanternfly eggs. The bug doesn’t bite.

Find one? Kill it if you can.

The insect can move quickly, but killing even a single female bug can help reduce the population over the course of a year.

People who have encountered a spotted lanternfly in Ohio should call their local extension office, 419-578- 6783 in Lucas County, or the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6201 to report it.

A fact sheet on the spotted lanternfly can be found in the VegNet newsletter online at the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Search for “spotted lanternfly.”

The spotted lanternfly would be at home in Ohio, which offers a suitable climate and food the pest likes.

It loves a fellow invader, the Tree of Heaven plant, which grows throughout the state.

It also loves grapes and has the potential to destroy Ohio’s growing wine industry.

The pest, which is costing Pennsylvania’s economy $50 million a year, also enjoys apples, hops, and trees such as walnut, birch, and maple. That means the insects are also a threat to orchards and the timber industry.

Invasion by the spotted lanternfly can be prevented or delayed. State officials must continue their vigilance, and individuals should be aware of the insect and report it if found.

The spotted lanternfly is a resident Ohio doesn’t need.– The Toledo Blade