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Ohio Department of Agriculture issues guidelines to prevent the spread of the Cuyahoga spotted lantern fly in Jefferson counties


CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture has issued quarantine guidelines for anyone traveling from Cuyahoga and Jefferson counties to reduce the spread of the invasive spotted lantern fly.

The spotted lantern fly, designated as a destructive pest of plants under Ohio law, has infested both counties, the ODA said in a press release Thursday. Parasites can spread quickly over long distances if someone moves infested objects or material containing egg masses.

Anyone traveling from these areas with items such as tree branches, nursery stock, firewood, logs or other outdoor items are at high risk of spreading the pest, so they should complete a self-inspection checklist on the ODA website, the statement said.

Nurseries, arborists, loggers and other business activities may also need to be covered by a compliance agreement to ship specific products out of infested counties, the statement said.

A pest native to Southeast Asia, the spotted lantern was originally found in eastern Pennsylvania in September 2014. It was likely brought to the United States via imported goods.

The spotted lantern was first found in Mingo Junction, Ohio, in October 2020, and it was found in Cuyahoga County in September. The pest has also established populations throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states, the statement said.

The spotted lantern is of particular concern to the grape and wine industry, as it likes vines, fruit trees, hops, blueberries, oak, pine, poplar and walnut, the release said. Adult spotted lanterns like the invasive Ailanthus tree and nymphs feed on a variety of hosts.

“Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant,” the Ohio Department of Agriculture said in the statement.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee on visual surveys, trapping of insects and awareness, the release said.

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