17-year cicadas emerge for the summer

By Jalyn Bolyard, Distribution Manager

Summer is finally here, giving us students a much needed break from all of the schoolwork. Sadly, this summer will bring a present nobody wanted: cicadas.

Although there are some types of cicadas that can appear yearly, this summer is about the Brood V periodical cicadas that appear and go through a 17-year cycle. This includes the species of Magicicada cassinii, Magicicada septendecim, and Magicicada septendecula.

Billions are prospected to emerge from underground with some areas having 1.5 million cicadas per acre, according to The Washington Post.

These cicadas will appear in parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia, according to Cicada Mania. Of course, most of the cicadas are expected in the states of West Virginia and Ohio. They have already started to come out of the ground in many areas.

Thankfully, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the red-eyed, one-and-a-half inches-long cicadas can’t bite or sting. Their sole purpose is to mate, reproduce and die during this summer so that young cicadas can then burrow back into the ground, thus continuing the cycle.

One thing the cicadas are known for is their infamous songs to communicate, either for mating or distress. As long as adult cicadas are present, the songs can go from early in the morning to late in the evening, according to the USDA. Amplified by the large numbers, it will for sure be one loud and noisy summer with the constant buzzing.

Although cicadas don’t feed on trees, the female cicadas can cut into branches as they lay eggs, which is harmful to trees. To combat the damage, the USDA recommends to delay planting new trees until fall or next spring and to cover small or ornamental trees with woven netting or cheesecloth.

Some other tips to survive the incoming cicadas include doing lawn work later in the evening, wearing closed shoes and a hat while outside, and being wary of pets eating the cicadas as eating many can cause digestive problems.

If interested in learning more about the 17-year cicadas, check out Cicada Mania’s YouTube video about them.

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