Slowing the Spread: Monitoring and Extension Efforts to Mitigate Impacts of Spotted Lanternfly

Project Director: Ashley Leach, Ohio State University

Funded in 2022

Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is a new invasive insect making headlines nationwide. Initially detected in Pennsylvania in 2014, SLF has swiftly moved through the MidAtlantic, with recent establishment in Ohio. SLF’s rapid expansion is owed to its broad host range of over 100 plant species, high fecundity, and inconspicuous life stages. Adult SLF can reach almost incomprehensible densities, often coating the surface of host plants. SLF is a public nuisance, impacting urban landscaping and backyard trees. Large infestations can kill plants or weaken them to opportunistic pests and/or diseases. Further, SLF adults produce copious amounts of honeydew which can cover cars and backyards, as well as provide ample medium for plant diseases. Many common ornamental trees like maple, walnut, willow and birch are favored host plants of SLF, and SLF can also feed on many agricultural commodities including apple, cherry, hop, and grape. Notably, many of these commodities are major specialty crops within the Midwest.


  • Develop and distribute novel extension resources to increase stakeholder knowledge of SLF identification and biology
  • Monitor SLF eDNA within vulnerable urban and agricultural ecosystems