Put a new dot on the map of Indiana. The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, Adelges tsugae, was recently detected in Laporte County, just South of Lake Michigan. The Hemlock Wooly Adegid, is an invasive species that kills native hemlock in 4-10 years. It was first reported in Virginia in 1951 and has since spread throughout the Appalachian Mountain areas. Pest Tracker has maps showing the location of this pest.
Recently, the Hemlock Wooly Adegid was reported in Indiana, possibly transported on nursery stock from infested areas of Michigan. Pest surveys are underway and eradication may be attempted. Fortunately, most of the susceptible hemlock in Indiana is in the southern part of the state outside the area of infestation. Careful monitoring and quarantines could keep the pest out of Indiana hemlock areas.
The “Wooly Adegid” is a sucking insect related to the aphids. The “wooly” refers to waxy secretions that cover the sessile insects as they feed on plant sap. The waxy secretions are protective against natural enemies. There are some natural enemies that can penetrate the defenses of this pest and offer the best opportunity for its control. Invasive species continue to have large ecological and economic impacts on the United States.