Three Reasons the Rare Brood X Cicadas Should Arouse Your Attention
Few events in life qualify as a “once-in-a-lifetime” occurrence. For example, a natural event like a total solar eclipse happens once in a century. If anyone ever sees it twice, he or she is almost a celebrity. Also, there are other events that are seasonal. They repeat themselves every so often. These often happen due to natural cycles. This post is being written at a scientifically significant time- when cicadas are reappearing. They usually do this after 17 years. This is only one reason for you to pay attention to this rare animal. Find out more as you read on.
They Create Mixed Reactions
If this is the first time you’re hearing of cicadas, then there’s a lot to learn. Just to get you up to speed, cicadas are insects that have a 13-to-17-year-long life cycle. This probably sounds ridiculous. Yes, they do last that long!
What is it about the cicada that bugs people? Like it or not, here they come!
“We are going to have the collision of something like maybe four billion, maybe 10 billion, maybe a trillion tiny insects with 30 million human beings,” said Mike Raupp. “And this is the only place on Planet Earth, even in the universe, that this happens. So, that’s what makes this thing so special.”
Raupp has been waiting 17 years for the emergence of the Brood X cicadas in the Eastern U.S., from New York to Indiana to Georgia. He and his wife, Paula Shrewsbury, both Ph.D. entomologists at the University of Maryland, are pretty excited about this.
“These are one of the coolest insects out there,” Shrewsbury told CBS News national correspondent Chip Reid. And they are marking the occasion with cicada T-shirts, earrings (“You can never have too much cicada bling!”), even cicada cookies. (More about that later.) Read more at CBS News
However, while some residents are excited about their presence, others are in panic mode. In fact, they’re planning to stay indoors until the wave of cicadas passes by. If you’re feeling anxious, just remember that they can’t harm you mostly!
They are Harmless
Cicadas seem harmful because of the loud noise they produce. However, these noises, sometimes as loud as a lawnmower, are just the males calling out to the females for mating. They have to do this before they die so that the next generation is guaranteed.
Cicadas are red-eyed insects that spend much of their life underground, emerging every 13-17 years to mate and lay eggs. They are best known for the “screaming” sound they make, as well as the sheer volume with which they typically arrive.
The cicadas arriving this year are periodical cicadas called Brood X, which refers to the brood cycle ten, and is one of the most concentrated of the fifteen cicada broods that have been tracked in the eastern U.S.
Kris Carson, a high school science teacher in Central Dauphin School District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told TODAY Parents that cicadas are very interesting creatures.
“They’re harmless and fun,” Carson, who teaches 11th and 12th graders, said. “But can be the stuff nightmares are made of if one lands on you without warning.” Read more at Today
So, you don’t have to feel like there are vampires or bees out on the loose. These insects are just going through their life cycles.
Once they mate, and females lay their eggs, the next generation goes underground as nymphs. Interestingly, though, cicadas are a source of food, both for humans and wild animals. However, this fact could potentially affect your home as explained in this post:
As if being invaded by cicadas wasn’t enough, Montgomery County, Maryland, is now warning residents that a wave of rats could follow in the wake of the onslaught of bugs.
County health officials warned that once the cicadas begin to die off, rats that had become accustomed to the readily-available food source may start looking around for other things to eat, and that could bring them into residents’ homes and properties.
Those who don’t take proper precautions to keep their house from becoming a safe haven for rats could face legal repercussions. Chapter 39 of the county code states: “it shall be unlawful for anyone to allow their property to be infested with rats or to be in such condition as to contribute to an existing or potential rat infestation.” Read more at WTOP
So, all you need to worry about is keeping rats away once the cicadas disappear. Good thing is, the experts in rodent control are here for you!
Backyard Bug Patrol is your trustworthy rodent control service provider. Call us today for a rodent-free, post-cicada season.