The 2013 spring season marks the 17th year of the “17 Year Cicada,” meaning these plague-like bugs will be swarming the skies in the south and northeastern US in the latter part of April or early May. Better known among science communities as Brood II Cicadas, this particular species isn’t harmful to humans or plants but does make a lot of noise.
Resident of North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and New Jersey can expect a visit from the insects sometime in the next month or so. Brood II Cicadas actually spend most of their lives underground (17 year lives, in fact) and come out only during their last few months of life to breed above the surface.
Most people have an unnatural fear of cicadas and often confuse them with locusts, a far more invasive bug species that can do big damage to trees and other flora. Cicadas don’t do much other than fly, breed, and make lots of chirping sounds in an attempt to attract each other – some who’ve seen a rising swarm before actually describe the sound as pleasing.
It’s important to remember that cicadas are a vital part of the underground biological world and that they pose no harm. Homeowners have been known to kill the bugs using chemical pesticides or traps but the bugs will only stay around a couple of weeks and shouldn’t cause issues. Other than a few rogue cicada skeletons and perhaps some insect feces, you may not even notice they’re around.
If you have concerns over your home’s pest control status, contact a professional in your area. While cicadas won’t pose much of a threat to your home, other insects will this time of year – from spiders to ants to stinging pests, now’s a good time to make sure your home is protected from invasive species. Particularly if you have a garden or spend a lot of time using outdoor livings pace, you’ll want to manage any emerging bug issues quickly.
If you happen to live in a part of the country that’s lucky enough to enjoy Cicada swarms this year, be sure to get outside and witness the spectacle. These bugs only come around every 17 years and they’re truly a wonder to see, travelling in swarms that number by the thousands.