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The spotted lanternfly is in Cincinnati -- and you should kill it if you see one

Dept. of Agriculture warn's this insect could be detrimental to Ohio's wine industry
Posted at 9:21 AM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 09:10:42-05

CINCINNATI — An invasive and threatening — but pretty to look at — insect has been spotted in Cincinnati, and if you see one in your yard you should report it to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then kill it, experts say.

The spotted lanternfly is native to China, but made its way to the United States in 2014. The City of Cincinnati announced on Facebook the pest had officially made it to the Cincinnati area on Nov. 16.

The insects pose a "significant threat to agricultural crops and ornamental and native plants," according to a press release from the city. The invasive insect is particularly dangerous to grapes, hops, stone fruits like peaches and plums, as well as apples. They also enjoy munching on trees found in many a Cincinnati yard: maple, walnut, poplar, willow and others, according to the city.

Adult spotted lanternflies are around 1-inch long with a black head, gray wings with black spots and red hind wings when the top wings are unfolded. Adults appear in mid-July and stick around through the fall before dying off in winter — but they return again in the following spring after their eggs overwinter and nymphs emerge in May. Those nymphs are black with white spots, growing in their red patches as they age.

According the city, the Cincinnati Parks Conservation Land Management and Urban Forestry teams have met with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to learn about the issues the insects could bring to the region and to help survey an area in the Mill Creek Valley where the pests have been detected.

If you find a spotted lanternfly, report it to the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 614.728.6400 — and then kill it.

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