Wildlife Wednesdays: The Cicadas are Back! | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 7th 2022

Wildlife Wednesdays: The Cicadas are Back!

The cicadas are back with a vengeance after being dormant for the past 17 years! They have been overtaking towns and cities across the Midwest, Ohio River Valley, and up east into the Mid-Atlantic states! Not only are the bugs creepy looking, but their sounds are overwhelming and loud! “They’re very loud, and it’s a hot day, so they are more active,” said Mark Eastburn, a teacher who advises the Princeton High School Insect-Eating Club. “When it’s in the high 80s and 90s, they’re really going crazy. Sidewalks and roadways are just littered with these bugs and even divebomb individuals who stand outside or just try to do some outdoor activities," he goes onto mention. 

As mentioned, the Brood X cicadas dig there way out of the ground every 17 years where they mate in trees and deposit their eggs on thin branches. The eggs hatch baby cicadas, where they fall to the ground, and start digging holes to hide from predators. “They’re really clumsy flyers,” Eastburn said. “They’re not good at moving very far.” Heat plays a large role as it warms up the soil, therefore, allowing the cicadas to crawl out of their hole and search for mates. The good news for the eastern U.S is that the peak is almost over and should be gone in the next couple of weeks. 

The next cicada emergence (also Brood X) will occur across the central Midwest here soon. "Officials say there isn’t a concern about the insects impacting big crops in Illinois like corn or soybeans, but cicadas do cause damage to plants and trees by cutting slits into them to lay their eggs." “Anybody that may have planted orchard trees lately or have younger ornamental trees and shrubs in their gardens or properties may see some damage,” Scott Schirmer said, who is a state plant regulatory official with the Illinois Dept. of Ag.