Spotted lanternfly found in Indiana

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Spotted lanternfly
An adult spotted lanternfly with its wings closed. At about 1 inch long, they are found July to December. Photo credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

INDIANAPOLIS — Spotted lanternfly was found in Indiana for the first time in Switzerland County the week of July 19, the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species has a detrimental impact upon plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards. 

A homeowner in Vevay contacted the department of natural resources Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology with a picture that was taken outside his home of a fourth instar — the stage of the insect that is bright red with black and white markings. Division staff surveyed the site and discovered an infestation in the woodlot adjacent to a few homes in the area. 

The site is within 2 miles of the Ohio River and the Markland Dam. The division and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are conducting an investigation to determine exactly how large the infestation is and where it could have come from, as well as how to limit the spread and eradicate the population. 

Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014.

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