Cicada Invasion

As if the Kudzu bugs haven't bothered me enough, I heard on the news today about Cicadas. They said that the Cicada insect invasion will be at its worst this year because they come out of the ground every 17 years. Isnt that just crazy?  

They are around every year because of different cycles, but not many. This year, watch out! It's time for the ones that have been in the ground for 17 years to emerge! This is expected to take place around Memorial day. Yikes!
They are harmless, but they do have a sucky thing that sucks the sap out of trees, so if you leave one on your skin for a long period of time (like who would really do that?) then It will pierce your skin and it would be painful. In other words, do not make a pet out of one.
They are about the size of a battery and make sounds louder than a lawn mower. Really?
Hey thats not all, You can eat them! Yes, people around the world actually eat these things and are known to be crispy crunchy and  have a nutty, almond tastes after they are deep fried or baked. (don't worry, there is a recipe link at the end of this post). eeesh, I dunno. Maybe if they were dipped in chocolate and I was on "Fear Factor" I'd do it, (loved that show by the way).

Here are some fun facts I found about these crazy things. Let me enlighten you.


  • The periodical cicadas like this year's brood may emerge in HUGE numbers – as many as 1 million per acres!
  • Several broods will emerge in Maryland this year. The largest is called Brood X (That's Roman numeral for 10.)
  • These cicadas have been 2-3 feet underground for 17 years, waiting for this spring to crawl to the surface. 
    This year's brood of 17-year periodical cicadas will arrive in early May and be around through mid-June. 
  • The noise you hear from cicadas is the male singing to attract females. He makes the sound by vibrating membranes on the side of his body, underneath his wings. 
  • The song of just one periodical cicada can be as loud as nearly 90 decibels. If you're standing right next to him, it would sound as loud as a power lawn mower!
  • Cicadas are NOT locusts. Locusts are migratory insects related to grasshoppers 
  • Periodical cicadas are smaller than the annual cicadas we see and hear every summer. 
  • Cicadas don't hurt people or pets. You can keep several in a shoebox with twigs for a day or two, then let them go. Make sure the environment is moist so they don't dry out. 
  • The brown casings you'll find are the cuticles (called 'exuviae') cicada nymphs shed after they emerge from the ground and molt into adults. 
  • Periodical cicadas cause damage by laying eggs in tree twigs and branches. Females cut a small slit in young branches with their ovipositor, then drop the eggs into the space. 
  • Female cicadas will lay eggs about a week after they emerge. After 6 weeks, the eggs will hatch, and the babies, called nymphs, will drop to the ground, where they will burrow into the soil for another 17 years. 
  • Cicadas feed on plants, but they don't carry any plant diseases. 
  • Developing cicada nymphs feed underground on plant roots while adult cicadas feed on above-ground plant parts of trees and shrubs. They don't damage flowers. 
  • young trees with small branches are most susceptible to cicada damage. 
  • The best way to prevent cicada damage is to put nets around young trees. 
  • Cicadas are edible. You can look for recipes online. (Cicada recipes).

Now go outside and finish your gardening. Ha!


  1. thanks for visiting me today at

    i'm following you now via gfc

    have a great weekend!

  2. Fascinating post! I don't think I'll be trying the recipe anytime soon, though! :-)
    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
    Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it by GFC, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett

  3. Ok, Lisa.....this is just plain icky. I know that when I've heard cicadas before, it was always in August and was a sign that summer was nearing an end. Now we're going to have them in May??? Eeeew. I guess we'll have to keep an eye out for them damaging our flowering trees and apple trees. Thanks for the info!

    xoxo laurie