August 21, 2023 - Wilderness Center - Spotted Lanternfly

5:27pm - 6:26pm

Council Members present: Dave Godwin, Tom Hilliard, Brett Long, Sydney Radich, and Mike Schwab.  Mayor Charles Hawk, VA Miller, and Clerk-Treasurer Kris King were also in attendance.

Audience in attendance: Daniel Volk of the Wilderness Center, Carissa Belloni, Mike DeLong, Becky Soehnlen, Rita Mullet, Terry and Beth Gromes, and Joe Moeglin of the Division of Forestry.


Daniel Volk of the Wilderness Center attended to inform Council and the public about the Spotted Lanternfly.  Mr. Volk used a PowerPoint for his presentation.


Mr. Volk stated that the Wilderness Center has land in seven different counties, 3,800 acres of protected land.  They also have TWC Consulting for forestry and educational programming.  Mr. Volk also discussed Foxfield Preserve.  This is a place where your remains are returned to nature.


The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is not actually a fly but is a plant hopper.  It will attack over 70 different trees and will lay eggs on over 103 species of trees.  Its favorite meal is the Tree of Heaven, which also comes from Asia.  Mr. Volk provided samples of a branch of the Tree of Heaven and how to tell it from other similar varieties of trees. 


The Spotted Lanternfly was first found in Philadelphia in 2014 and is now affecting 14 states including 8 counties in Ohio.  He discussed control methods including getting permits to move trees from a county that is infested.  These bugs can travel on anything.  They can attach their egg sacks to anything, including tires and seem to be following the rail lines as they attach themselves to trains.  They believe that this is how they often travel.  Many pictures and a video were presented on how to identify and exterminate them.


The Spotted Lanternfly is affecting the fruit and wine industries, forest and urban landscapes and logging.  This could be very detrimental to Ohio’s wine industry.


These bugs are a half inch to an inch long at maturity.  They go through seven stages before maturity and reproduction.  They do not kill the trees outright but do enough damage that if another stressor is added, such as a drought or harsh winter, the trees do not survive.


The Spotted Lanternfly can be killed with herbicides or using traps such as funnel or sticky traps.  The problem with the sticky traps is the collateral damage.  There are no known predators.  The best thing to do is capture, kill, and then report them to the Department of Agriculture, EDDMaps, or iNaturalist.


The meeting was then opened for questions.  The first question was are they going to be like the stink bugs.  They are outside during the summer and move indoors when it gets cold outside.  They can be killed by Roundup.


The question was asked why the winter doesn’t freeze the Spotted Lanternfly out.  Mr. Volk explained the hatched eggs will not survive for the most part, but the eggs are generally protected by a covering that enables them to survive.  Peeling the egg sacks off whatever it is stuck to and putting them in alcohol will kill the larvae. 


Another question was if our bugs have become a problem for other countries and Mr. Volk stated that they have.


The best way to buy trees is buying local and inspect the trees for the egg sacks even though nurseries should be doing their own inspections.


The meeting adjourned at 6:26 PM.

Respectively submitted,

Kris King, Clerk-Treasurer