“They Cannot Lay Eggs in your Skin”: Cicadas to Swarm US this Month


Image Courtesy of Thought Co.

By Noah Slayter

Two swarms of cicadas, colloquially known as “Cicada-geddon,” are going to emerge from the ground. The 17 and 13 year cicadas, will spread their wings and fly into your hair, if you live in any of these 17 states. They will appear in mid-April to late May.

Cicadas are “stout” bugs with “bettle-like bodies” says WebMD. The males have an organ on their underside which produces a loud buzzing sound. And when, literally, trillions of them are going to descend on the central and eastern US, it will be a chaotic cacophony of insectrual orchestrals. In an interview with Fortune, John Cooley with the University of Connecticut, abbreviated as (U-Conn), said it will sound like standing next to a jet engine.

The bugs will be sprouting up in 17 different states, from southern Wisconsin and Michigan, down to east Texas, and up to Massachusetts. The two broods are distinctly separated however;, the 17 year brood will emerge around  Illinois and the northern center US, while the 13 year brood will appear throughout the rest of the “cicada territory.” The only overlap will be parts of Illinois and Indiana.

Image Courtesy of Fox News 

The broods appear from the dirt with one purpose:, sex. As an evolutionary tactic, cicadas lay dormant as larvae in the ground. The larvae then worm their way out of the dirt once their 13 or 17 years are up and live as adult cicadas to reproduce en masse. “They cannot lay eggs in your skin,” Cooley said to the site LiveScience.

According to the U-Conn, cCicadas are harmless;, they cannot bite you and are neither have venom or posion. Although tThey do not chew up crops as adults, the larvae can be a pest. 

U-Conn suggests if you are planting small, new, or sensetive trees to place birdnetting or cheesecloth over the tree. This will prevent the adults from eating the leaves and cicada eggs from being planted at the tree’s feet so that and the larvaeea won’t eat the roots.

The 13 and 17 year broods do not meet up often. Since they are prime numbers, the only time the swarms emerge coincidentally, is every 221 years (13 x 17). The last time these two groups of cicadas shared airspace, Thomas Jefferson was president. The next time these two broods will emerge together again will be 2244.

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