They’re back! Billions of periodical cicadas will make an appearance this spring in Ohio and 15 other U.S. states. Last seen in 2004, these cicadas only emerge every 17 years. From mid-May to late June, we will be serenaded by the loud buzzing of the Brood X males.
The unusual life cycle of periodical cicadas is largely a mystery. During their adult lives, female cicadas lay eggs on tree branches. Immediately upon hatching, the nymphs drop and burrow into the ground, attach to tree roots and suck sap. After 17 years underground, instinct guides the insects to climb the trunks of nearby trees, shed their skins and emerge as adults. Adult cicadas live for a fleeting 3-4 weeks of mating.
Cicadas don’t sting or bite, but they may mistake motors for mates and humans for small trees. Avoid their attention by being outside when they are least active, in the early morning and at dusk. Wrap young, vulnerable trees with netting by late April. Don’t let them bug you; they’re just looking for love at 100 decibels.
WHAT I’M ATTRACTED TO:
+ Lawn mowers
+ Power tools
+ Chirping males
+ Flicking wings of females
Tree sap from roots and branches
Wings + Legs: Orange
Eyes: Red—sometimes blue, white or gray
WORDS I LIVE BY:
“Sing, Fly, Mate, Die!” –Anderson Design Group
SAVE THE DATE:
We’ll be back—2038
I’m a protein-packed, low-carb, gluten-free snack for:
+ Pets—Caution: too many could make Fido ill
+ Fish—I’m great bait!
+ Squirrels, reptiles, birds, spiders, wasps
+ People—Watch out for mercury content
WHAT I’M OBSESSED WITH:
+ Sing-a-longs—The all-male chorus attracts females
+ Terrorizing motorcyclists
+ Clogging pool pumps
+ Laying eggs—Females lay up to 600 eggs each