In the upcoming months, cicadas that come around every 17 years are returning to the northeast region of the United States. The last time these noisy bugs were around was nearly 20 years ago in 2004 before most students in high school were even born!
This specific breed of cicadas, sometimes referred to as Brood X, will cover some of the largest areas that any cicadas inhabit. They will inhabit about 15 states including Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. Appearing sometime in April, these bugs are known to be rather noisy and come from underground to live in the trees.
After three months of mating and leaving the next generation, these bugs will go back underground, only for their offspring to reappear 17 years later, or sometime in 2038.
The number of these bugs across all 15 states will be somewhere in the millions. Washington D.C. and Maryland will be hit the hardest because this is where the majority of these bugs reside.
These bugs can often be very hard to ignore, due to their very loud presence. While these cicadas can be disruptive due to the cacophony of buzzing noise that they make, they are generally harmless. This noise is called a chorus and it is part of their mating ritual.
These buzzing-bugs make noise that can get up to 80 or 100 decibels. That is about as loud as a lawnmower. They could be keeping residents up at night; however, this is expected to last for only about three months. The cicadas’ shells will be falling onto the ground, making it slippery. Driving and walking could be affected by the shells lying on the ground as well. Make sure to be careful to avoid these crunchy shells.
All in all, these bugs are nothing to fear. Although they are very large and intimidating looking, they are not harmful or looking to hurt anyone. It is best to let these bugs live as they only appear a few times in a lifetime.
Brood X will be gone by the summertime, so we’ll be able to go to the beach without worrying about any bugs. However, it’ll be another 17 years before we see them again, so take this phenomenon in while you can!
‘Tsunami’ of cicadas coming — here’s what the buzz is about