Brood X Cicadas 2021
Periodical Cicadas Set to Emerge in Spring 2021
After 17 years underground, the Brood X cicadas (the Great Eastern Brood) are set to emerge this spring. Sometime in April or May (once the soil is warm enough) billions of Brood X cicadas will climb out of the ground and emerge in 15 different eastern North American states and Washington D.C.
The Great Eastern Brood can be found in:
- New York
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- Washington D.C.
For 4-6 weeks, the intense buzzing mating calls of the Brood X cicadas can be heard in woods and neighborhoods throughout these states. While the thought of encountering millions of insects on your trip into town might seem like a nightmare, cicadas are nothing to worry about. Continue reading to learn more about these periodical cicadas.
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What Do Periodical Cicadas Look Like?
Periodical cicadas are characterized by their black bodies, red eyes, and orange wing veins. These insects are typically 1-2 inches long and have 6 legs, 2 wings, and antennae.
What Are Periodical Cicadas?
Periodical cicadas are a type of cicada that spend most of their lives underground feeding on juices and sap from tree roots only to emerge from the ground once to mate and die. There are only seven species of periodical cicadas and they are found in eastern and midwestern North America.
The seven species of periodical cicadas are:
- Magicicada septendecim
- Magicicada cassinii
- Magicicada septendecula
- Magicicada tredecim
- Magicicada neotredecim
- Magicicada tredecassini
- Magicicada tredecula
What Happens When Periodical Cicadas Emerge?
On their 13th or 17th year of life, nymph periodical cicadas emerge from the ground by the millions or billions. They shed their skin, thus becoming adults, fly around, mate, and lay eggs for 4-6 weeks. After this period of time, all of the adults die and their young hatch, burrow into the ground, and disappear for another 13 or 17 years.
Why Are Cicadas So Noisy?
Once they are free from the ground, cicadas begin making extremely loud buzzing and clicking sounds. These are their mating calls which they continue to make the entire time they are above ground. With millions (sometimes billions) of cicadas making the same buzzing sounds, you can only imagine the noise levels residents and business owners have to put up with.
Why Do Cicadas Emerge in an Enormous Swarm?
Cicadas emerge from the ground in massive numbers in hopes of protecting themselves against predators by overwhelming their ability to eat them all. By coming out in massive numbers, each individual has a lesser chance of being eaten. This survival trait is called predator satiation.
Do Periodical Cicadas Cause Damage?
Female periodical cicadas are known to cause damage to trees. These insects find thin branches or stems and cut V-shaped holes in them to lay their eggs. This can cause splits and withers in the trees, which can either stunt their growth or kill them.
Are Periodical Cicadas Dangerous?
While their presence is certainly intimidating and unnerving, cicadas are little more than a nuisance. These insects do not bite or sting or pose any real threat to humans.
What Are Broods?
Periodical cicadas are broken up into broods based on their geographical location and the year in which they emerge.
Today, only 15 different broods are known to exist. They include:
- Brood I
- Brood II
- Brood III
- Brood IV
- Brood IX
- Brood V
- Brood VI
- Brood VII
- Brood VIII
- Brood X
- Brood XIII
- Brood XIV
- Brood XIX
- Brood XXII
- Brood XXIII
Are Cicadas the Same as Locusts?
No. Cicadas are commonly referred to as locusts, but that is incorrect. Cicadas are classified as Hemiptera (true bugs) while locusts are a species of grasshoppers classified as Orthoptera (straight wings).
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Call Greenix Pest Control!
As experts in all things pests, Greenix Pest Control is happy to answer any and all of your cicada questions. If you are curious about how you might be affected by the emergence of the Brood X cicadas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.