The cicadas emerging this spring are known as periodical cicadas and are different from the annual cicadas that we tend to see every year. Some broods emerge every 13 years. But Brood X is known as the big brood and only emerges once every 17 years.The cicadas that emerge this year are actually the offspring of the bugs that last emerged in 2004. They hatched as tiny nymphs from eggs laid in the treetops, fell to the ground, and burrowed into the soil where they remained for the past 17 years feeding on sap from the roots of trees.
Cicadas won’t harm your home or pets and they don’t bite or sting. The only area of concern is that the sheer number of eggs laid by female insets can damage tree branches. Mature, well-established trees are not a concern but younger, weaker trees may be more at risk. To protect young trees, enclose them in plastic netting with a mesh size of 1 centimeter or smaller. Do not spray with pesticides; it is NOT effective.
Expect the largest numbers to emerge during the last few weeks of May. The males will produce a loud, droning noise to attract a mate that can reach a level of 80 to 100 decibels. Enjoy this rare wonder of nature while it lasts. Brood X will be completely gone by late June, not to return again until 2038!