Warmer Weather Leads to the Emergence of Periodical Cicadas After 17 Years
Periodical cicadas, also referred to as either the 13-year or 17-year cicadas, are expected to emerge this summer in the United States.
There are approximately 3,390 species of cicadas, 190 of which call North America their home.
Most cicadas are called annual cicadas because adults can appear yearly, every two years, or every five years, depending on the species.
Periodical cicadas, however, appear every 13 or 17 years.
When & Where Will Cicadas Emerge in the United States?
A large quantity of 13- and 17-year cicadas are expected to emerge in parts of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia this summer.
It’s possible for thousands of cicadas to emerge on a single acre of land.
That’s a lot of pests!
Areas on the East Coast, like New York and Rhode Island, can see an emergence of annual cicadas each summer.
Similarly, Florida experiences cicadas that emerge year after year when the soil has reached the perfect temperature.
But, when it comes to the likes of the 17-year cicada, that’s more of a concern for New York and Connecticut than other states in the Northeast.
New York and Connecticut expect to see 17-year cicadas during the spring and summer months of 2030.
Lifecycle of Periodical Cicadas
Since the 13- and 17-year cicadas have different lifecycles, they are classified into different broods based on the anticipated emergence. The species can be made up 15 different broods. This year’s emergence has been classified as Brood IX.
After the cicada nymphs have matured, they will build mud tubes in the soil as a way to crawl out. These tubes are also known as cicada huts.
Once the pest has made its way out of the soil, it will molt into their winged-adult form.
Why Does it Take Years for Periodical Cicadas to Emerge?
There is approximately 12 different 17-year broods and three broods of the 13-year cicadas.
Depending on the species, the larval stage for a periodical cicada can last either 13 or 17 years. Annual cicadas have a much shorter larval stage and emerge much quicker.
But the precise reason why it takes them so long to return is still somewhat of a mystery. Some scientists have suggested that the timeline could be the pest adapting to avoid a predator.
Without changing their cycle, they would emerge around the same time as a predator looking for a tasty meal.
Another reason could be due to the climate. Cicadas are a warm-weather pest, so it’s unlikely for the pest to survive in cold weather.
Even though North America experiences changes in temperature, some environmental issues have led to inconsistent temperatures. So, an unexpected cold snap could keep the pest in the soil a bit longer.
Once the soil reaches a comfortable and consistent 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the pest will begin to emerge.
What Do Periodical Cicadas Look Like?
It can be fairly easy to identify 13-year and 17-year cicadas.
Their bodies are a striking shade of black, six legs, and can range in size from one to two inches. Along with antennas, the pest has red eyes, and orange veins in their wings, not to be confused with annual cicadas which are black and shades of green.
Cicada adults live for approximately two weeks after emerging from the soil. Not only that, but the pest has been known to “sing” or chirp. Why do cicadas sing?
First, not all cicadas make a chirping sound. The noise is made by males as mating call. Female cicadas can hear the sound up to a mile away.
So, with all the 17-year cicadas expected to emerge this year, this sound will be anything but pleasant.
Potential Cicada Damage to Trees & Homes
Luckily for homeowners and business owners, a cicada infestation is less likely to occur than most other pests.
Even though they aren’t a threat to humans, the pest can cause significant damage to trees — including apple, dogwood, pear, cherry, and many others.
Damage can be prevented by adding tree wraps or other protection around the tree trunk.
However, if you find your home or business infested with cicadas, it’s best to leave removal to the professionals.
Catseye Pest Control pest control professionals have the knowledge and experience to protect your investment from infestations and structural damages caused by pests.
Cat-Guard Exclusion Systems are an eco-friendly, permanent solution to keep unwanted pests and wildlife out of your home or business.
And even though cicadas aren’t a severe threat to people, it’s still best to prevent them from becoming a bigger problem.
To learn more about how Catseye can protect your home or office, contact us today.