The National Pest Management Association shares what Americans need to know if you live in one of the states affected by this natural wonder.
In an event that sounds like it was pulled from a horror movie, billions of Brood X cicadas are set to emerge from the ground this May for the first time in 17 years across 15 U.S. states. In preparation for their emergence, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is sharing what residents in these states can expect this spring and summer.
"The last time this brood of cicadas emerged was in 2004, and it was truly a sight to be seen," said Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the NPMA. "Brood X is the largest brood of periodical cicadas in the U.S. and while they will primarily emerge in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, other parts of the country may experience smaller broods of cicadas this year as well."
Here is what you can expect if you live in the areas affected by the emergence of Brood X cicadas:
It is going to be LOUD! Cicadas are known as the loudest insect in the U.S. They produce a loud buzzing sound on their abdomen to attract mates, and in large groups, this sound can reach as high as 100 decibels. That’s about as loud as a power lawn mower, jack hammer or garbage truck!
You’ll need an umbrella. Cicadas are clumsy fliers and have been known to fly into people or objects that cross their paths, unknowingly landing in your hair or flying into your home.
Your yard may be littered with cicada shells. Cicadas emerge from the ground by the hundreds or thousands per acre in their nymph stage. Once above ground, they will shed their shells, which you may find discarded on the ground near trees.
They won’t be here for long. After spending 17 years underground, these pests only live for a few weeks to mate and lay eggs. Six to 10 weeks after the adults die off, the nymphs will begin to borrow underground to feed and grow for nearly two decades.
To help residents prepare, NPMA is sharing the following tips:
If you are sensitive to loud noises, wear a pair of ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones when spending time outdoors.
Ensure doors and windows are properly sealed and screened.
Carry an umbrella, wear a hat or keep long hair tied back when spending time outdoors.
Ensure your windshield wipers are working properly and regularly clean your windshield to remove discarded shells.
Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors midday. Cicadas are least active in the morning and evening when temperatures are cooler.
Rake your lawn regularly and discard of any shells.
Protect tree saplings by covering them with netting or cheesecloth.
While the emergence of billions of cicadas may be unnerving, they are harmless to people. This spectacle of nature only occurs periodically, so be sure to also take a moment to enjoy this natural wonder while it lasts. For more information about cicadas, visit PestWorld.org.
About the National Pest Management Association
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit PestWorld.org or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
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