Reposted from ONnurserycrops (October 12, 2023): Recent Spotted Lanternfly Sightings in Ontario | ONnurserycrops Blog (wordpress.com)
By Cassie Russell, OMAFRA Nursery and Landscape Specialist
Many of you may have heard rumblings or seen posts on social media about spotted lanternfly (SLF) being sighted in Ontario recently.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) continues to receive reports, directly and indirectly, of SLF sightings in various locations. You can see some of these findings on public records such as iNaturalist.
There have been no confirmed detections of SLF in Canada. A detection is defined as a live spotted lanternfly confirmed by the CFIA in the Canadian environment. If there is a confirmed detection, an update will be posted on the CFIA website: Canada.ca/spotted-lanternfly.
There have, however, been a few recent sightings of SLF in Ontario, here’s what we know about each of these cases:
August 26, 2023 – Fort Erie
A single SLF adult was reported on the Fort Erie Peace Bridge by a couple crossing over from Buffalo. The windows of their vehicle were open and the SLF flew into their car. Recognizing the insect, the observer promptly squished it and reported it to the CFIA. No other details are known about where this individual SLF adult came from. Click here to see the iNaturalist report.
Sept 13, 2023 – Oakville
An employee of a business in Oakville spotted a suspicious insect, snapped a photo, and posted it to an insect group on Facebook. The observer then submitted a report to the CFIA. The CFIA responded and inspected the surroundings but could not find any additional SLF. The photo was also uploaded to iNaturalist, click here to view the iNaturalist entry.
October 5, 2023 – Niagara
An Ontario company was importing a shipment of plants from the United States where they noticed an adult SLF trapped in the plastic wrapping of the shipment boxes. The Ontario importer held the shipment until CFIA could come and inspect. No other SLF where observed in the shipment or surrounding area.
What can we learn about these sightings of SLF?
- Both the general public and industry are aware of this pest. Reporting and responding to these sightings/interceptions is necessary to prevent this pest from establishing here in Ontario. So, job well done everyone!
- SLF can arrive by many means. Whether it be on a shipment, hitching a ride on a truck, or flying into your window, we can’t predict where these pesky invasives are going to show up so it’s important that everyone stays vigilant.
For growers, please continue to ensure staff are trained and know what to look for, who to report to, and inspect anything entering your facilities (trucks, pallets, pots, plants, etc.) that have come from anywhere in the US; especially in the areas where SLF is known to occur. You can refer to this following map for the most up to date tracking of SLF in the USA: Click here.
For others in the green industry, please continue to educate those around you about spotted lanternfly and report any suspected findings of the pest. Be sure to catch the insect if you can and note as much detail as possible.
Here is the link to report a possible finding of SLF in Canada: Canada.ca/spotted-lanternfly.
If you’d like to read more about the biology of this insect, there are numerous fact sheets available online from the CFIA, Invasive Species center, USDA, as well as a recent article posted on the blog here: Don’t give a free ride to the Spotted Lanternfly | ONnurserycrops Blog (wordpress.com)
You can also download and print the OMAFRA Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly (ontario.ca) to share at your businesses or anywhere you see fit.