The crimson eyes are coming! – Watts up with that?
Short message from Kip Hansen – April 1st, 2021
If you thought the latest zombie movie was scary, read the New York Times headline:
Billions (yes, billions) of cicadas will soon emerge from the underground
Flocks of cicadas, part of a group called Brood X, are slated to perform in 18 states over the next few weeks, just in time to orchestrate the summer’s soundtrack. [ source ]
That’s right, billions with a capital B Billions These lovely creatures will soon be climbing up the trunks of your trees and bushes and settling down all night long, making incredibly loud noises. That’s if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the fourteen (some say 18) eastern states of the United States where Brood X (that’s the Roman numeral “X”, as in ten, not as in Gen X) the USA 17 years old cicada. In particular, “Brood X contains three species, Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassinii, and Magicicada septendecula, which gather on different trees and have different male songs. The youngest major occurrence of the brood occurred in the spring of 2004. ” [ source ]
Where will we see this incredible natural phenomenon?
This map is general and marks an entire state, even if Brood X is only expected to emerge for a small part of the state.
The BBC offers this video on the formation of cicadas:
To answer some frequently asked questions:
- Do cicadas bite or sting? No, they are mostly harmless.
- Will the cicadas damage my trees? If you have an extreme infestation, maybe a little, but not a lot. The answer is different if you own an apple or other orchard.
- Will they hurt my new fruit trees, bushes or my garden? “If you plant trees, wait until July. If your garden doesn’t get cicadas in the first week of June, it is likely safe to plant in June. Otherwise, you can use a net to prevent cicadas from laying eggs on the branches of fragile trees. It is the laying of eggs that does damage. They usually avoid garden and flowering plants because their stems are not strong enough for an egg nest. ” [ source ]
- Should I spray them with insecticide? No, they will die in a couple of weeks anyway (usually only 3-4 weeks as adults).
- If I live in any of the states on the map, will my garden show up? Not necessarily, Brood X is very country specific and many states only have them in certain counties. Adults must have laid eggs in their trees 17 years ago, the nymphs later fall to the ground and dig into your soil. If you had them in 2004, you probably will have them this year.
- Why only every 17 years? We do not know it. Some other species of cicada have a 13-year cycle, while others are annual.
What do adult cicadas do?
They’re like college students, they just want to do one thing: buddy. “Cicadas only live above ground for a few weeks when they mate. The female cuts V-shaped slits in the bark of young twigs and lays about 20 eggs at a time, for a total of 600 or more eggs. After about 6 to 10 weeks, the eggs hatch and the nymphs fall to the ground and dig into the ground to feed and develop for the next 13 to 17 years. ” [ source ]
After mating and laying their eggs, the adults die and restore the country’s relative calm.
In support of the truism, “There is at least one website dedicated to every topic you can think of (and a lot of topics you can’t even imagine).” You can find more information about All- Things-Cicada, including Brut X t-shirts and mugs.
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Nature includes some pretty strange things that humans find difficult or impossible to understand. The 13- and 17-year cycle of cicadas is one of those weird things. Don’t ask me, I just have no idea. I don’t even have an opinion!
I find it interesting. Not only is there a 17 year old cicada, but my local brood X is made up of three different species, all with the same 17 year timing.
Happy April Fools’ Day – this one is real – but the joke is up to us. 17 years? “Really?”
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