The Smithsonian Institute estimates that at any given time there are 10 quintillion insects alive on planet Earth doing insect things. Some of them are beneficial to our ecosystem. For example, bees pollinate flowers, while others, like the praying mantis and the ladybug, feed on other pests such as aphids that can destroy your vegetable garden or other plants in your landscaping. But, like nearly everything else on this planet we live on, for every good thing, there are bad things that seem to serve no purpose other than destroying whatever is in its way. Insects are no different, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), we have a few species of those insects living in Indiana that need to be dealt with if you happen to come face-to-face with them.

7 Invasive Insect Species in Indiana That Can Damage Crops and Other Plants


Invasive species, in this case, insects, are species that do not originate in the United States. They often make their way into the country by hitching a ride on agricultural imports from other countries. Certain types of weeds and other plants are also considered invasive species. While the USDA does have inspectors whose job is to try and catch them as they enter the country and destroy them before they have a chance to spread, it's impossible to catch them all.

The USDA estimates the cost of lost crops and forest production due to invasive species is around $40 BILLION every year. That amount does not include the amount of money spent by farmers and government agencies to try and get rid of the species once it's been discovered in a particular area.

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.

[Sources: USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service / Smithsonian Institute / Brittanica / Indiana Department of Natural Resources]

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