Experts: If you spy a spotted lanternfly in southwest Ohio, kill it

Spotted lanternflies, an invasive species from Asia, are killing trees and other crops along the east coast and they’ve recently been seen in multiple locations around Ohio.

They resemble moths, but with more decoration: the pests have red underwings and gray wings with spots. Experts said if you see one, you should kill it, then report it to the Ohio Department of Agriculture so they can track the presence of the lanternflies.

“Because they are an invasive pest and one of the big issues is usually when a new invasive pest shows up, what will happen is, a lot of the plants here are adapted to fight them off,” said Joshua Benoit, associate professor of biology at the University of Cincinnati. “And so you end up with a lot of, kind of jumping to new hosts and a lot more damage.”

Benoit said while Cincinnatians may see the lanternflies now, it’s also likely the pests will make themselves known next summer, too.

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