Things That Matter

Trillions Of Cicadas Are Set To Invade The U.S. After 17 Years Of Living Underground

In what is peak 2021 news, reports are stating that literally trillions of cicadas are set to emerge from their underground lives to invade portions of the United States. The bugs, colloquially but incorrectly known as “locusts,” are expected to appear for the first time since 2004 across 15 states in the Eastern U.S. 

Of course, given the newscycle of 2020 and 2021 we really shouldn’t be surprised but still – yikes!

Scientists say to expect giant swarms of bugs in several U.S. states come the spring.

Trillions of cicadas are set to emerge across 15 U.S. states this spring, as a colony of insects known as Brood 10 awakens from a 17-year-long hibernation. Having spent almost two decades underground in their immature “nymph” state eating tree root sap, the bugs will crawl out in mid-May to late June when soil hits 64 degrees Fahrenheit—likely after a sprinkling of warm rain. Once above ground, the insects will set about mating, the noise of which can hit 100 decibels, and lay their eggs before dying.

Scientists say that Americans across 15 states – Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C – can expect densities of 1.5 million bugs per acre! That’s a whole lot of bugs, almost biblical. 

The return of the cicadas typically starts around mid-May and runs through late June and is, needless to say, a wild spectacle. Some people view the insect invasion as an annoyance, while others welcome it as a wonder of nature. Some in the latter category even travel around the US to cicada emergence areas to experience the sights and sounds annually.

Experts want to assure everyone that these bugs are harmless and can even be a joy to watch.

Although the idea of swarms of insects appearing from the earth may sound unbearable and frightening, many insect enthusiasts and scientists view this as a wonderful opportunity for millions of people to witness and enjoy a remarkable biological phenomenon in their own backyard that happens nowhere else on the planet.

Experts point out that the bugs are harmless and typically don’t come indoors, though they do gather on outside walls, which let’s be real is pretty gross in its own right. The only way they could get inside is accidentally flying in through an open door or window, or because they had landed on a person who then carried them inside unnoticed.

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