Cicada Invasion

By: Denny Trease Email
By: Denny Trease Email

They're loud and they're ugly. The good news is they don't come around very often, and they don't stay very long.

The sound made by cicadas is among the loudest produced by any insect. What we're hearing though are love songs. Male cicadas congregate in the trees where they serenade females in hopes of attracting a mate. They do it by vibrating their abdominal membrances so the song is actually a belly dance.

Madison County Extension Agent Amanda Sears tells 27 Newsfirst, "The sound can be defeaning but at least they have three different songs. The cicadas we're hearing now have been underground as larvae since 1991. They only emerge every 17 years and only when the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees. The emerge from their shells and harden into flying insects."

Frank Miller couldn't even mow his yard this week because it was so thick with cicadas. He says, "I had to watch every step that I walked to keep from stepping on them. They were just flying and landing all over me. Every tree probably had a thousand of them on it."

Cicadas are harmless to people but can damage trees. Amanda Sears says, "They won't damage your garden plants, but females once they have mated will go to branches on young trees and split the bottom of the branch to lay their eggs there."

An emergence can last up to 6 weeks, and since the cicadas started appearing this year on May 4, we're going to have to put up with them for another week or so.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Jun 8, 2008 at 01:43 PM
    @Zatoichi Location: Richmond Its that time of the month so change your towel and stop cryin that your womans lost.
  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on Jun 7, 2008 at 05:19 PM
    IOf you listen to the male cicada love songs closely you will hear Change, Hope and Obama. Even the insects are singing this frauds' song.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jun 6, 2008 at 06:46 PM
    Where is the idiots that are scared of them like the vultures? And the ones that make dog noise ordanances? Cant these goverment hold my hand people tak ecare of this problem as well? After all they love exterminating nature for their own foolish comnforts.

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