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What’s That Buzzing Sound

There are a series of visitors coming to the northeast. Hundreds of millions to be exact. One swarm of visitors comes around every year around the start of summer. The second set of visitors have not been seen for the last 17 years. Both types of visitors will emerge sometime between mid-May and the end of June with a lifespan of four to six weeks.

These visitors are cicadas, also known as locusts. There are 23 different broods in the United States. Cicadas spend years underground as juveniles. The juveniles (nymphs) emerge when the soil temperature reaches above 64’. They will climb up nearby vegetation to complete their transformation into adults. They will spend up to six days in the vegetation waiting for their shells to harden completely. The yearly cicadas are green in color and have become a part of the summer season in which we take for granted.

The 27/7 buzzing sound that you hear comes from hundreds of millions of cicadas. The 17 year locusts “sing” a mating song by producing loud sounds using their tymbals. The females find these sounds sexually attractive and respond to the males with timed wing-flicks to attract the male for mating. A group of males making the same sound can be deafening to the human ear. The female cicadas will lay about 20 eggs in the bark of young twigs for a total of around 600 eggs. The eggs will hatch after six to ten weeks in which the nymphs will fall to the ground and burrow themselves to begin the next 17 year cycle.

Cicadas are not poisonous nor harm a person in any way. They; however, are considered to be a huge nuisance. Farms and communities have a substantial noise problem once the cicadas emerge from the ground. Swarms of locusts will affect nearly every area from the siding of a building to leaves of shrubs. It will be nearly impossible to go outside without seeing one.

Even though there is nothing to worry about with the beginning of cicada season, they are still considered a nuisance animal. Just remember, they are only present up to six weeks in which the buzzing sound will then recede.

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