Cicadas are insects that are known for the loud and almost deafening sounds they can make. However, some years, cicadas are worse than others. This is due to the 17 and 13 year cycles that they emerge in. Residents of Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia have already seen some activity this year. However, it's not supposed to be a year that they emerge. Why are they here?
Cicada Activity for summer 2017
Cicada broods are not supposed to emerge in the DC area this summer. However, some straggler cicadas are appearing all over the area. These stragglers are expected to be from Brood V (emerging a year late) and Brood X (emerging 4 years early). While it may seem odd, it is normal for cicadas to emerge early and late due to the weather. These stragglers are usually consumed quickly by birds, squirrels, and pets, making it unlikely that they will produce enough offspring for future generations.
One of our on-site entomologists has already discovered shed skins from Cicadas this spring, as pictured on the right. This is what happens when cicada nymphs first emerge from the ground, after feeding on roots for up to 17 years. Their wings inflate, and their skin hardens. If you discover something similar or think you have cicada activity around your home, you can report the activity here.
ARE CICADAS DANGEROUS?
Cicadas are not harmful to humans. No matter how scary they look and sound, they are not capable of pinching, stinging, or biting. To avoid interaction with these insects, wear long sleeves and pants.
If a cicada still manages to hitch a ride on you, don’t panic, simply wipe the insect onto the ground and walk away.
While they are harmless, you may want to invest in some earplugs, as their mating calls can be loud and annoying. Luckily, these pests shouldn’t be around for too long. They mainly “sing” during the hottest parts of the day, and shouldn’t stick around past July; leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your summer.