Youngstown ranked as 'Most likely' to be impacted by spotted lanternflies
The spotted lanternfly is small insect that has the potential to make giant and harmful impacts on the environment and it could soon be making it's way to the Valley.
According to lawn care company Tru Green, Youngstown is ranked as one of the top cities in Ohio to be impacted.
Agriculture expert Eric Barrett of Ohio State University extension , says he is starting to see infestations in Ohio as the insect continues to spread.
"We are in the path of the spread of the insect. We have some infestations in Ohio," Barrett said.
The invasive species has the potential to threaten the quality of fruits and some trees. The damage from spotted lanternflies is caused by them feeding on the trunk and branches of woody plants like apple and maple trees and grapevines.
"The bigger picture is helping identify the insect and making sure we do what we can do to control [spotted lanternflies] so it's not impacting our farms, our forests, our landscapes in Ohio," Barrett told 21 News.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture reports the species, native to Asia, was first detected in Pennsylvania back in 2014. Experts say the pests are not great flyers, but that does not stop them from traveling across the country.
"We could be bringing egg masses on firewood and transporting that across state lines, our cars and vehicles and transporting those and those eggs [will eventually] hatch," Barrett said.
If you spot the planthoppers themselves, experts advise stepping on them or using a long lasting insecticide.