Be on the lookout for these masses growing all over your property because they happen to be eggs for an invasive insect species in Indiana.

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. This time of year, you might find their eggs before they hatch. That's what you need to be on the lookout for now.

WKDQ-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Spotted Lanternfly Spotted In Indiana

In 2021 the Indiana DNR reported the first spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) found in Indiana in Switzerland County, More recently, in 2022, the insect was found in the Huntington area in northern Indiana according to the Courier & Press. These invasive insects have been spotted more times than they have probably been reported in Indiana.

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.

Top view of spotted lantern fly, Chester County, Pennsylvania

Why Should You Kill These Insects?

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.

According to Indiana DNR:

<p>Nymphs emerge in April or May and have four instars or growth stages. The first three instars are black with white spots. The fourth instar retains the white spots but has a red and black body with red wing pads. The first to fourth instar ranges in size from a 1/8 of an inch to a little over a half inch long.</p><p>The nymphs will climb into trees shortly after they emerge. They will drop off the trees when they encounter a physical obstacle or disturbance from the wind and start climbing up again. Fourth instar nymphs develop into adults in late June or early July. Adults continue to feed on plant tissues. Mating and egg deposition begin in September and continue until a hard frost.</p>

While the freezing temperatures will kill off adult insects, the egg masses they lay in fall can be spotted throughout the winter. That means you could spot them in your yard right now. Egg masses tend to be about 1.5 inches long and resemble mud that has dried and cracked. Spotted lanternfly overwinters as an egg on the bark of trees, firewood, rocks, outdoor furniture, equipment, vehicles, or anything that is stored outside.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

How to Remove Lanternfly Egg Masses

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "scrape any egg masses into a plastic zippered bag filled with hand sanitizer, then zip the bag shut and dispose of it properly." The Indiana DNR asks that you also report any findings to them by calling 866-NO EXOTIC ((866) 663-9684), or emailing the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology(DEPP) at Be sure to include the county you live in (or where you spotted the flies and/or eggs) and your contact information so DEPP staff can follow up.

[Sources: Indiana DNR / USDA]

7 Invasive Insects in Indiana You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a "Pest Tracker" on their website, where you simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

Animals You Might Encounter in The Wild in Indiana

There is no shortage of stunning wildlife in Indiana. Here are six species native to the state that you might encounter the next time you head outside.

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals

LOOK: Biggest snowfalls recorded in Indiana history

Stacker compiled a list of the biggest 1-day snowfalls in Indiana using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Gallery Credit: Stacker


More From WKDQ-FM