The 17-Year Cicada is About to Emerge


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Green And Red Cicada Close Up

Photo by LadyDragonflyCC

It’s going to get loud. They are coming by the billions and they should be here in the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic by May. It’s called Brood X, or the Great Eastern Brood, the arrival of the species of cicadas that surfaces every 17 years and fills the air with their deafening mating hum that can reach up to 100 decibles.

This event, which hasn’t happened since 2004, will start in May and last five to six weeks. Besides their irritating noise, it will be hard to miss their crunchy discarded skeletons that will literally be everywhere. States that will play host to this event are Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Periodical Cicada Species

These cicadas are periodical cicadas and are not to be confused with the annual cicadas that appear every year, usually in July or August. Folk legend has it that when you hear the song (or noise, depending on how you look at it) of the annual cicadas, there will be six weeks until the first frost.



To date, there are 190 varieties of this creature identified in North America and some 3,390 different species found around the world. However, this number grows as researchers discover new species. In the United States, there are two predominant periodical kinds, the 17-year cicadas that are found primarily in the northern and eastern United States and the 13- year ones that emerge in the southern states.





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