The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has been confirmed in the northern Indiana counties of Elkhart, Porter, and St. Joseph next to railroad lines through Chesterton, Elkhart, and Mishawaka.
This is the third region of the state in which this invasive pest has been found, joining the 2021 find in Switzerland County (southeast) and the 2022 find in Huntington County (northeast). The DNR continues to survey to determine the extent of the currently infested areas.
A planthopper that originated in Asia, spotted lanternfly is of concern across most of the United States because of its adverse effect on fruit orchards, nurseries, and the logging and wine industries. It was first discovered in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is often unknowingly spread by humans. It’s now found in many Eastern states as well as along the rail lines in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo in Ohio, and in Chicago.
The adult insects have piercing, sucking mouthparts and weaken plants by feeding on them, making it difficult for the plant to survive the winter. Congregating spotted lanternfly insects produce large quantities of honeydew that over time become infested with sooty mold that attracts other pests in the area, further threatening native plants.
More information is at on.IN.gov/spotted-lanternfly.
Anyone who spots this insect or signs of it should contact DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or emailing DEPP@dnr.IN.gov.