At my house, we are seeing more brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) than we have ever seen. Because of my location in Clark County, I don’t usually see some of these insect pests for a few years after they hit the Miami Valley. I believe it’s because we are not near a major highway.
For instance, my son in Beavercreek was seeing BMSB several years ago and we would only see one or two. It’s taken about four years for them to show up at my house.
One of our retired vegetable researchers discovered that this pest tended to follow the highways and show up in cities where there was a fruit and vegetable distribution center or storage center.
Her theory was that they were possibly in the fruits and vegetables that were delivered to these locations and escaped. It made a lot of sense to me.
Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is showing up in towns and communities that have tree of heaven populating railroad tracks. Trains are coming in from the east and SLF has hitched a ride and jumped off to feed or lay eggs.
Ohio State University Extension staff were on hand last Saturday at the Penn State versus Ohio State game educating people about SLF. It’s common for SLF to lay eggs on cars, thus, we wanted to make sure that any Penn State fans coming to OSU weren’t bringing any unwanted gifts!
Spongy moth (gypsy moth) came to the Miami Valley several years ago and has been kept to a minimum thanks to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) spray program.
The first outbreak that I saw in Clark County was in an area where there were lots of oaks. The center of the outbreak was likely due to a camper that had been to Pennsylvania and brought back either adults or egg masses.
These egg masses hatched and started to reproduce, eventually building an incredible population that prompted the homeowner to call. The landscape in the area was full of spongy moths feeding on the oaks, dropping frass (feces) to the ground.
It was so heavy that you could feel the frass falling as well as all the detritus that resulted from feeding.
Fortunately, ODA came into Clark and Greene counties and sprayed the hot spots to prevent any major populations. We have been fortunate so far not to see to many spongy moths.
Life continues and more pest problems will be discovered. A global economy makes it difficult to keep up with invasive species accidentally entering the U.S. As homeowners, we can be vigilant and report any odd or unusual insects that are found in the landscape.
Pamela Corle-Bennett is the state master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio State University Extension. Contact her by email at email@example.com.