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Lycorma delicatula, Vertical image of fourth-instar stage of spotted lanternfly

Source: zhengzaishuru / Getty

STATEWIDE — The Spotted Lantern Fly has been confirmed in multiple northern Indiana counties including Elkhart, Porter, and St. Joseph. The invasive species was found next to railroad lines in through Chesterton, Elkhart, and Mishawaka.

Originally spotted in Pennsylvania back in 2014 the Spotted Lantern Fly has been spreading west over the years with sightings in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago. The plant hopper is often harmful to local fruit orchards, nurseries, logging, and wine industries. Adult forms of the species use their mouths to feed off plants, weakening them and making it harder for the plant to survive through the winter.

Lycorma delicatula, Vertical image of fourth-instar stage of spotted lanternfly

Source: zhengzaishuru / Getty

Spotted Lantern Flies also produce large quantities of honeydew that can eventually become infested with sooty mold and attract other pests that further endanger native plants.

These most recent spottings are not the first time the species has been seen in Indiana, though it is a steep increase in areas affected. They had previously been found in the southeast part of the state around Switzerland County in 2021, and the northeast in Huntington County in 2022.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources are continuing to monitor infested areas. Anyone who spots the insect should contact the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology at 866-NO-EXOTIC (866-663-9684)