There's a new invasive insect that has made its way into Indiana and officials aren't playing around. They say if you see it, you should kill it.

We have heard a lot about invasive plants and insects in Indiana recently. Everything from a mussel species to Poison Hemlock has been talked about taking over Indiana, and those are just examples. There are a lot of other invasive species out there that are invading the area. Another invasive insect that has been recently talked about is the spotted lanternfly. If you spot it, you are given full permission to kill it.

Spotted Lanternfly Spotted In Indiana

Last month, the Indiana DNR reported the first spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) found in Indiana in Switzerland County, This is the farthest west the insect has been found to date. These invasive insects are clearly making their way westward, which holds the possibility for them to be spotted in the Evansville area sooner rather than later.

How To Spot A Spotted Lanternfly

The immature stage of a Spotted Lanternfly often appears black with white spots, and they develop red patches as they mature. As an adult, the Spotted Lanternfly is about one inch long and half an inch wide, with tan, semi-transparent forewings, black spots, patches of red and black and a white band, and a yellow and black abdomen.

The adults start to emerge in July and lay eggs in the fall. An adult can lay up 50 eggs on tree trunks, firewood, and rocks, according to Fox News. So keep your eyes peeled in areas like these for these insects.

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Signs Of Spotted Lanternfly Infestation

According to a recent report from Fox News, signs of infestation include sap oozing from tree trunks; 1-inch-long, brownish-gray or brown and scaly egg masses; and honeydew build-up under plants. The lanternflies excrete honeydew, which encourages the growth of black sooty mold.

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Why Should You Kill These Insects?

Again, Indiana DNR asks that if you see one of these insects, you should kill it. That may sound pretty harsh, especially since they are harmless to humans. So why should you kill them?

The USDA National Invasive Species Information Center says it poses a "serious economic threat to multiple U.S. industries." These insects feed on agricultural crops like grapes, apples, hops. They also feed on maple, walnut, and willow trees.

Anyone that spots signs of the spotted lanternfly should contact DEPP by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or send an email to DEPP@dnr.IN.gov. So basically, if you see something, say something...just make sure you "take care" of that something first.

(H/T- Fox NewsIndiana DNRThe USDA National Invasive Species Information Center)

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