Noticed Lanternfly: Indiana State Officers Warn About Invasive Insect Present in Tri-State

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An invasive insect was discovered in the Tri-State, leading Indiana state officials to warn the public about the pest. Wine lovers watch out, these pretty beetles come for your grapes.

(Photo: Magi Kern)

Spotted lantern fly

This is the first time the spotted lantern fly has appeared in Switzerland County, Indiana. A man discovered this invasive insect on the walnut tree of his garden in Vevay, and that prompted the state to dispatch an inspector.

State entomologist Megan Abraham said they found that a population of the invasive insects had been around for several years. She said that they normally attack trees and these insects have been spotted eating over 100 different species of trees such as maple, oak and fruit trees.

Abraham said, “They feed on this mass group that can reduce the vitality of the trees in our woods. The worst thing about them, frankly, is that they also like to feed on grapes.”

According to Abraham, the lantern fly is a cause for concern, as it can damage vineyards and negatively affect forestry and logging. She said that they usually show up and change the pH of the grapes on the vine, making them unusable for wine production, so this is the biggest concern for vineyards.

They are considered to be “plant cicada” which means they travel easily.

Also read: Beautiful intruder calls for Pennsylvania quarantine

Vevay infestation

Abraham said, “The adults fly or soar out of these trees and in everything that goes by is actually there on the Ohio-West Virginia border.”

Experts are working hard to get rid of the Vevay infestation, but Abraham said the public should be aware of these insects and prepare reports if they are discovered.

She said people don’t want this pest entering the Indiana wine industry or spreading further from where it currently is. The director of the Boone County Arboretum warned residents about the lantern fly in a social media post.

Spotted lantern fly like to feed on grapes

(Photo: Getty Images)

Officials are urging people to report sightings

Spotted lantern fly (Lycorma delicatula) is endemic to some parts of southern China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and has invasively spread to South Korea, Japan, and the United States. Although it has two pairs of wings, it usually jumps more than flies. Stone fruit, grapes and Malus species are its host plants Words Characters Reading time

Anyone who spots a spotted lantern fly in Indiana can report the sightings to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or call 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or email DEPP@dnr.IN.gov. Images of the insects are particularly helpful, said Abraham.

Individuals wishing to report a sighting in Ohio or Kentucky can contact their state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Related article: Spotted lantern flies are fliers, not gliders

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