The Illinois Department of Agriculture has reported that the invasive spotted lanternfly has been found in Illinois for the first time. The East Asian insect was first identified in Pennsylvania around eight years ago and has been making its way west with rides hitched on railroad cars, semitrucks and other vehicles. It has worked its way into Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa.
Reports of a live spotted lanternfly in Illinois were first received by the state Agriculture Department on Sept. 16. Officials from the federal, state and local governments visited the site and identified a “moderately populated area,” according to the release. The investigators collected specimens and received results Tuesday that confirmed the species had arrived.