While the public’s attention is on the coronavirus pandemic, Michigan flooding and murder hornets, another threat is quietly preparing to return after spending the last 17 years off the grid: cicadas.
Cicadas emerge in different regions at different times — some resurface every year, while others remain MIA longer, according to experts at Virginia Tech. One particularly large group, called Brood X, appears in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina every 17 years — and it’s time for their return. Eric Day, an entomologist in Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology, says the brood’s population is staggering, with as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre of land.
While cicadas can harm trees, the biggest issue they present is their constant buzzing. And with so many expected this year, experts say the sound will be just short of deafening. “Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue,” Day says. “Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent — and amazing — this event is.”
What type of insect bothers you the most? What type are you most afraid of?