Cicadas – what the heck is a cicada, you are wondering! Well, a cicada (genus Magicicada) is a bug. Yes, there are always bugs around so what is the big deal? These Brood II cicadas only emerge from the ground every seventeen years. Not everyone will be able to see this emergence. Seems like they will be most prevalent in portions of eastern North America including Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. What makes this really amazing is that they are supposed to emerge by the millions and some folks are saying maybe even billions.
These bugs are about one and one half inches long. They emerge once soil temperatures at about 8″ deep warms to about 63°F. They don’t bite and they don’t sting but they do sing and since they fly around, they are annoying. Adult male cicadas sing loud chirping songs to attract female cicadas. Their mating song is one of the loudest of any insect. You can track their emergence or report any that you may find at Radiolab. The good news (at least for those of us that really don’t care for flying bugs) is that once they emerge, they have a life span of only a couple of weeks. Have you seen any of these in your area? So far, I have not and I really won’t be too disappointed if I miss the emergence.