How to report spotted lanternfly sightings in Ohio

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Spotted lanternfly
An adult spotted lanternfly with its wings closed. At about 1 inch long, they are found July to December. Photo credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Although the spotted lanternfly is continuously getting closer to Ohio’s borders, the Buckeye State has fewer resources devoted to the pest than some neighboring states. Find out how other states are handling spotted lanternfly sightings and learn how to get in touch with Ohio officials in the event you spot one.

Pennsylvania. In the epicenter of the outbreak, Pennsylvania has arguably dedicated the most resources to controlling the spotted lanternfly, as both Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have invested in studying the pest to develop better control methods and have made countless resources available to the public online. For more information about the spotted lanternfly, visit Penn State Extension’s comprehensive fact sheet. To report a sighting, visit Penn State Extension’s reporting page to double-check your finding and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture ’s Spotted Lanternfly Reporting Tool to report your sighting. If you’d prefer to call and report a sighting, contact the PDA at 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-422-3359). Pennsylvania also has measures in place for out-of-state reporting. You can call the PDA Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-253-7189 or email Badbug@pa.gov.

Delaware. The Delaware Department of Agriculture has a fact sheet available to those looking for information on the spotted lanternfly, quarantine zones and reporting sightings. You can use the online submission form, email hitchhikerbug@delaware.gov or call 302-698-4632 to report sightings.

Maryland. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has a fact sheet available to the public and asks that sightings be reported to the Department of Agriculture via phone at 410-841-5920 or DontBug.MD@maryland.gov.

New Jersey. The State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture has various handouts, checklists and videos in regards to spotted lanternfly facts, quarantine information and reporting practices available on their website. To report a sighting, call New Jersey Spotted Lanternfly Hotline at 1-833-223-2840 (BADBUG0) and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.

New York. Although no populations have established themselves in New York, various findings of the spotted lanternfly throughout the southern portion of the state have prompted the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to provide informational resources, as well as reporting tools. Sightings should be reported to spottedlanternfly@agriculture.ny.gov or by using the Department of Environmental Conservation’s submission form.

Michigan. Although spotted lanternflies haven’t yet settled in Michigan either — in fact, no sightings have been reported there — the Department of Natural Resources has added the pest to its watch list, created an informational fact sheet and provided various ways to report sightings. Sightings should be reported to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by emailing MDA-Info@michigan.gov or calling 800-292-3939.

West Virginia. Following a confirmed population of spotted lanternfly at the end of last year, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and West Virginia University Extension produced a fact sheet. Sightings should be reported to local extension offices or emailed to bugbusters@wvda.us.

Virginia. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Cooperative Extension have produced a series of informational PDFs, as well as an electronic reporting tool and paper form. If you’d prefer to call in your sighting, it should be reported to the nearest extension office.

Ohio. Although the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Department of Natural Resources offer little to no information on the spotted lanternfly or how to report sightings, Ohio State University Extension offers an informational fact sheet and directs reports of sightings to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Plant Pest Control Division, which can be reached by phone at 614-728-6400 or by email at plantpest@agri.ohio.gov. Another good place to report sightings may be to Tom Macy, the program administrator at Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. Macy can be contacted via phone at 614-265-6705 or by email at thomas.macy@dnr.state.oh.us.

Last Week

What is the spotted lanternfly and why should you worry about it coming to Ohio? Check out Ohio residents: What you need to know about the spotted lanternfly to learn more about the invasive insect, where it’s been found in the U.S. and how to identify it.

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