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Be Aware of Invasive Bugs

Scientists are doing a better job these days of understanding the damage that can be done by invasive species. It has not been all that long ago that the damage to Eastern and Carolina hemlocks — the giants that made some untouched sections of forests look the enchanted woods of fairy tales — was attributed to “acid rain” by those who were desperate to bring attention to that particular problem. It turned out the trees were being destroyed by the hemlock woolly adelgid, and invasive species transplanted from Japan.

There are others of course, like the Asian Long-Horned Beetle, first discovered munching on ornamental trees in New York City and Chicago but now found throughout the northeast. Those came in untreated wooden packing crates from China.

Now, Ohioans are being asked to watch out for the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that can damage several kinds of plants, but is of great concern to the grape and wine industry. Spotted lanternflies like to dine on grape vines and fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar and walnut.

Spotted lanternflies have been, well, spotted in Mingo Junction, in Jefferson County. They’ve also been seen in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“By midsummer, the nymph SLF can be identified by its red body, roughly a half-inch in size, with black stripes and white dots. During the late summer until roughly November, the SLF is in the adult moth stage. These adults are larger, roughly one inch in size, with black bodies and brightly colored wings,” the ODA reports. Keep an eye out, and alert the Plant Pest Control Division at 614-728-6400 if you see one.

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