Is It A Horror Movie? Billions Of Cicadas Are Coming
It sounds like a line out of a horror movie, "The cicadas are coming! The cicadas are coming!!".It's actually a spring phenomenon that only happens every 17 years. That's right. After 17 years underground, billions of Brood X cicadas will emerge to find a mate.
Which means that the buzzing, droning sound we'll all be hearing soon simply means, as John Paul Young sings, "Love is in the air." It's the cicada mating call.
Nature is truly fascinating. The Brood X cicadas are among the geographically largest of all 17-year periodical cicadas. Other periodical cicada groups emerge from underground on a 13-year cycle. Sometime in the first or second week of May, billions of Brood X cicadas will emerge in approximately 14 states plus the District of Columbia.
Apparently, it's a real treat to witness, especially since Brood X cicadas only appear in the eastern part of the United States. They're waiting for the topsoil to be warm enough before they emerge. The ideal soil temp for cicadas is about 64 degrees. That usually comes by the second week of May for states in the mid-Atlantic region, but it could happen sooner. And there are usually stragglers on either side.
The important thing to remember is to not be afraid. As Western Mass News reports, while cicadas can be bothersome for farmers, they are absolutely not harmful to humans or animals. They don't sting and they are certainly not venomous.
Cicadas get a bad rap because people often confuse them with locusts that would wipe out entire crops. The cicadas that are set to emerge this spring are harmless to humans and won't wipe out fields and gardens.
No, these insects simply want to find a mate. Then the females will find a nice, pencil-sized tree branch on which they'll lay their eggs. Then the adult cicadas will die, the eggs will hatch, the offspring will fall to the ground, burrow back under, and then start the 17-year cycle all over again.
The mating call of the cicadas has been clocked anywhere between 80 to 100 decibels, which is loud enough to drown out the sound of a passenger jet flying overhead. So be wary, when those cicadas finally emerge, things could get LOUD.
For more on this fascinating story, check it out at Western Mass News' website here.
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