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Cicadas to Stage Massive Invasion in Coming Weeks

In the coming days, trillions of unusual insects known as periodical cicadas will emerge from underground. These cicadas, with their red eyes and loud collective song, only surface every 13 or 17 years, making them quite the spectacle.

Unlike their green cousins that come out annually, these cicadas spend most of their lives underground. But when they emerge, they cover everything in their path, leaving behind shed exoskeletons and a crunchy ground.

This spring, there will be a rare event where two different broods of cicadas will emerge simultaneously, a phenomenon dubbed “cicada-geddon” by experts. The last time this happened was in 1803 during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.

These insects, often mistaken for locusts, are not as destructive as one might think. While they can cause some damage to young trees and crops, it’s usually not widespread.

The upcoming emergence will be particularly significant in the Southeast, where Brood XIX will make its appearance. These cicadas emerge every 13 years and are already leaving their mark on the red Georgia clay. Climate change has caused them to emerge earlier than before.

Cicadas to Stage Massive Invasion in Coming Weeks

Trillions of cicadas are to emerge from underground

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, Brood XIII will make its presence known in Illinois. These cicadas emerge every 17 years and are historically abundant in the region.

There are 15 different broods of periodical cicadas that emerge on either 17- or 13-year cycles. While some broods may overlap geographically, they do not interbreed.

The sheer number of cicadas that will emerge this year is staggering, with estimates reaching into the trillions. Despite their abundance, these cicadas serve as an important food source for birds and other wildlife.

The cicadas’ unique life cycle, with prime numbers governing their emergence, helps them avoid predators and ensure their survival. While they can be a nuisance to humans, their courtship rituals and mating calls are a fascinating sight to behold.

As the cicadas emerge across the country, they remind us of the wonders of nature and the complex ecosystems that support life on Earth. So, get ready to witness the incredible spectacle of trillions of cicadas emerging from the ground, ready to make their presence known.

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