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May 9, 2013

Brood II 17 Year Cicadas in New Jersey

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 9:27 pm

Jersey Cicada

Final update:

Here’s a map of all the towns reported in the comments:

View Towns where the Brood II cicadas emerged in 2013 in a larger map will eventually publish a complete and accurate map of the emergence.

17 year cicadas are about to emerge are currently emerging in New Jersey. I asked cicada super-expert Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at the University of Connecticut for some specifics. The information below is based on Dr. Simon’s notes.

Historically Brood II periodical cicadas have appeared in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hunterdon (in the east), Middlesex, Monmouth (“Slight in eastern part”), Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. Also, you can keep an eye on where cicadas are emerging in New Jersey (and report your own sightings) on, which has a live map of the emergence.

I’m personally very interested in periodical cicada sightings in Monmouth county — let us know if you spot any there.

Here are some specifics (don’t be dismayed if your town isn’t on the list — they still might appear in your town):

Atlantic County:
– Galloway

Bergen County:
– Alpine (Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary)
– Englewood
– Ft. Lee
– Oakland
– Wyckoff (near Lucine Lorrimer Sanctuary)

Essex County:
– Cedar Grove
– Essex Fells
– Livingston
– Maplewood
– Millburn (South Mountain Reservation)
– Montclair
– North Caldwell
– Short Hills (confirmed in 2013 already)
– Upper Montclair
– West Orange

Middlesex County:
– Edison (confirmed for 2013 – lots of exit holes near the Edison Monument).
– Fords
– Iselin (visually confirmed for 2013)
– Jamesburg
– Metuchen (confirmed in 2013 already)
– Perth Amboy

Mostly north of the Raritan River

Morris County:
– Flanders
– Kinnelton
– Madison
– Rockaway

Passaic County:
– West Milford

Somerset County:
– Bedminster (Pluckemin section)
– Belle Mead
– Bound Brook
– Far Hills
– Rocky Hill
– Warren

Union County:
– Fanwood
– Plainfield
– Summit (Confirmed – see a video)
– Westfield (Confirmed for 2013)

Warren County:
– Port Murray

BTW, what better way to celebrate Brood II in New Jersey like a Brood II tank top:

The Carl


  1. Vicky says:

    Is there a different brood of cicadas that emerges in Monmouth county?

    1. Dan says:

      There are records of Brood II and Brood X in Monmouth, but nothing at all significant like we see in Middlesex and Union for II, and Mercer for X. The only reports that came in this year are for Cheesequake Park, which I haven’t verified (mostly because of the $10 entry fee). Monmouth has plenty of annual cicada species if that is any consolation.

  2. Fran says:

    None in Middletown as of today, June 26, 2013

    1. Dan says:

      Sadly, there isn’t much if any Brood II cicadas in Monmouth County.

  3. kathy says:

    when the cicadas are flagging does that mean they are all gone in my area in edison

    1. Dan says:

      Pretty much.

  4. kathy says:

    hi i live in edison i dont hear the noise from the cicada any more so does that mean they are gone.

    1. Dan says:

      Rotten, but not forgotten.

  5. MaryAnn says:

    We have noticed a liquid dropping from the trees. It is pretty gross getting all over our patio furniture and everything else we have in our yard. What is it? It is pretty gross.

    1. Dan says:

      The liquid is urine.

  6. MaryAnn says:

    Just heard from some family members at a party today who live in Hacketstown that the Cicadas have just started to come out over there. Seems like it has been really cool up there overnight so they were probably delayed in coming out. Just thought you would like to know.

  7. MaryAnn says:

    You can tell there are fewer of them around in Colonia. They are not as loud as they were. Although today one snuck in the house via our pet dog. How did I know? Through the sreams of my 9 year old! lol So I picked it up and put the Cicada back outside. Figured it doesn’t have much longer might as well let it have fun! ;)

  8. Jim says:

    Thanks for your quick response, Dan.
    I guess you’re right. I guess.
    The famous “Bob Dylan” year was 1970, so jumping ahead 17 years, the subsequent 2 arrivals would have been, respectively, 1987 & 2004.
    It’s just that my daughters were born in April 1986 & I vividly remember the swarming of the cicadas when they were young, but, one year old? Not likely. And, I don’t remember them at all in 2004, but that could just be my fading memory. But 1987, my daughters were one, I don’t know….I vividly remember their excitement & walking all around town with them looking at the swarms. And, trust me, I’m not confusing it with 2004 when they would have been 18 & not walking around with their Dad looking at cicadas at all! :)

    1. Dan says:

      1987 was Brood X. Sometimes a cicada population dies off in a particular yard or neighborhood due to pest control or environmental factors.

  9. Jim says:

    I thought the cicadas were supposed to come to Princeton, NJ this year? They never arrived. What gives?

    1. Dan says:

      Well, they don’t exist in the Princeton area. At least Brood II. Brood II cicadas are primarily located in eastern NJ, north of the Raritan river, with random locations in southern Jersey.

      Brood X, however, exists in Princeton, but you’ll have to wait until 2021 for them.

  10. harry says:

    I live in edison nj i just want to know next week would the cicada be gone on or before 4th of july

    1. Dan says:

      That is usually the case. They’ve been dying off.

  11. kathy says:


    1. Dan says:

      Soon enough. Any rain and cold weather prolongs the emergence because it stops them from mating. Once they wear themselves out mating and laying eggs, they’ll die. What you need to do it an anti-rain dance.

  12. Larry says:

    I live in Manahawkin in Ocean co. No bugs yet. When do you think they will be here

    1. Dan says:

      Sorry, they won’t arrive this year. Like Monmouth county, Ocean county doesn’t have many if any.

  13. Jeannine says:

    I was in Lewis Morris park in morristown this past Saturday and it was impressive… Albeit terrifying for me. The sound was mechanical and the air was thick with them, landing on me and everything…. I had to leave.

  14. wendy says:

    We have had an outbreak in our yard since may 18th. We live in wayne, nj passaic county.
    We cant even leave our house without getting divebombed by hundreds! They are ALLLLLL over. Please tell me they will be gone soon. PLEASE.
    My 3 year old cant even go play outside. she is terrified…so am i.

  15. Jonathan Poor says:

    June 12, 2013 Essex County Bike ride report:
    1) No Magicicadas in vicinity of Montclair Center (Bloomfield & Park)
    2) Small patch of chorusing cicadas in Eagle Rock Reservation, in woods west of NYC lookout.
    3) Heading west on Eagle Rock Ave, none to report through West Orange, but strong magicicada chorus on Ridge to the East of Roseland.
    4) Further west on Eagle Rock Ave, none in Becker Farm.
    5) Heading south towards Livingston on Livingston Ave. none to report until just south of the Livingston Library. From there, there was the sound of the cicada chorus and cicadas on the road, all the way down through the East Orange Watershed, through Short Hills, past South Mountain Reservation, and back into Maplewood. Strong and loud populations in the watersheds and reserves, weaker in the suburban tracts, but still present.

  16. MaryAnn says:

    Oh no Dan two more weeks? We have had them here in Colonia since 5/17!

    1. Dan says:

      Yeah, about that. They’ll be done in time for the 4th of July. Freedom from Cicadas.

  17. Vicky says:

    Good Morning. I have severe entomophobia so this invasion has been an absolute nightmare for me! I am lucky enough to live in Monmouth County and in my area we have not seen any cicadas. If I have to travel outside of my area, I check the live map, so thank you for providing that. However, I am concerned that because we have had mild temperatures that there will be more to come/much more to come? Do you think we will see even more emergences in areas that haven’t seen cicadas yet? Or can I find some solace in the fact that we might be going through the worst of it now? Any insight will be very much appreciated.

    1. Dan says:

      Just avoid Middlesex could for the next two weeks.

  18. Chrissy says:

    I live in Fair Lawn and was disappointed to say we have not seen or heard a single one.

    1. Dan says:

      That is disappointing. I checked the live map and I didn’t see any emergences in your vicinity either.

  19. Aurora says:

    They definitely seem to be out in numbers in Metuchen/Edison. I was surprised not to have seen a single one in Somerville where I work, and friends in the New Brunswick and Trenton areas said they haven’t seen any. What is it about the soil that makes them live some places and not others? And would they have been affected by the flooding from Irene and Sandy while they were underground?

  20. Jill B says:

    Flat Rock Brook Nature Center has them EVERYWHERE!!!

  21. Margaret Southwell says:

    I live in Fanwood. I noticed their arrival about May 19. Please give me a date I can live for: their disappearance. I respect them but I can’t stand them. When will they go? They fly into my hair. My hairdo must look like a tree!

    1. Dan says:

      Usually 3 to 4 weeks once they start singing they’ll be dead and quite. I see people using umbrellas to dissuade the bugs from approaching.

  22. Steve says:

    Westfield, NJ
    Memorial Day weekend was when they were all emerging out of the ground. In the last two days they have gotten a lot more quiet. Are we at the tail end of seeing them?

  23. Regina says:

    They are all over Mountainside..

  24. Jonathan Poor says:

    I just rode my bike up from Montclair to Eagle Rock Reservation via Gates Ave, and was surprised that there were no cicadas on the way up through neighborhoods and in the woods along the switch back road. There was a small group centered around the “Pavilion” which looks out at NYC at the south end of the park. But the big stretch of forest leading up to that area seemed completely quiet. I wonder why, given that South Mt. Reservation, 5 miles to the south on the same mountain ridge, is howling full of them. I remember there have been forest fires at Eagle Rock over the last few decades — could that be an explanation? If so, how many generations would it take for them to spread back out into the forest?

  25. Tina says:

    I work near Metro Park in Edison. Last week they were piercing in noise, and the pavement and grass were loaded with dead cicadas. Today, much less. I confess, they make me cringe and i can’t wait until they’re all gone.

  26. Mary says:

    I made a 2 minute film over the weekend of the Cicadas in my yard. Here’s the link if you are interested

  27. Cheryl says:

    None here in Hunterdon County, west of Clinton, NJ. Will we get any?

    1. Dan says:

      Probably not. :(

  28. Mary says:

    I created a little 2 minute film on youtube of the Cicadas in my yard in Edison, NJ. Unfortunately I did not get them hatching at dusk, but it shows enough to understand what its like including the sounds they make. It is named ‘Cicadaville Parkway’, just search for it on youtube if you are interested

  29. Rock says:

    I saw you wrote you were curious about Monmouth County –that’s where I live. It is June 4th and I have yet to see a cicada. I live in an area with many large trees as well. Last year I noticed several crawling out of the ground with their big red eyes but not in large numbers.

  30. Pat says:

    That’s ashame when I heard about this I wanted to see it for myself. There’s a lot of wooded area around here and I’ve been keeping an eye out for them.

  31. Pat says:

    Haven’t seen any in hazlet (monmouth county) yet. will there be an emergence in my area?

    1. Dan says:

      There shouldn’t be much if any periodical cicadas in Monmouth County. Most of them are in Middlesex county or north. That said, if someone finds some in Monmouth county I want to know about it.

  32. Stacey says:

    Cicadas are in Upper Montclair!!!! Lots of them and the music is beautiful. I’ve been hearing their mating song since last Friday (May 31) and hope it lasts the full 4 weeks. I’m trying to savor every moment. I remember the last one in 1996 and have been looking forward to this for a long time. Hope I’m around for the next round in 17 years :)

  33. Don says:

    I live in West Milford on snake den road, next to Camp Wyanokie, today with rain they are 60 db and over the weekend they were 70 db. I was here 17 years ago and then you could not see thru the trees there were so many flying around. They sound like an air drill all the time. When will they reach their peek?

    1. Dan says:

      They’ll peak within the next 2 weeks.

  34. Jonathan Poor says:

    Update from Maplewood, Essex County
    Still more emerged last night. Is that the last of them?
    We had 10-20 nymphs come up out of French drains in my basement over the last few days… (I brought the emerged cicadas outside…) There is a largish Oak tree near the corner in the basement where they emerged … but wondering how they got down that far — at least 7 feet below the surface — to get into those French drains…

    Up in the canopy, the chorus has grown quite loud, and I’ve seen a number of mating pairs…

    1. Dan says:

      You should see another week of emergence, and then 3 to 4 weeks of singing.

  35. peter fritze says:

    Live in Bernardsville. Have been hearing their song for 3-4 days. How long will it last?

    1. Dan says:

      About 3 to 4 weeks. By the fourth of July you should only hear fireworks.

  36. MaryAnn says:

    Here in Colonia they have been out for 2 weeks now. I still see new ones every night there are literally thousands of them on our property alone. When will the new ones stop coming out? Not sure I can handle much more of them. They are extremely loud. I have not seen them swarm thank goodness if they did I think I would totally lose it.

    1. Dan says:

      The should be all out in the coming week. I would be surprised if they will be around in July.

  37. Andrew says:

    I live in Scotch Plains (07076) and for the last 4 days, I’ve had to use my leaf blower to clear my driveway. The numbers have been impressive. In addition, today (6/1/13), the sound level has been astonishing. It reminds me of flying suacers from the 1950s and 1960s SciFi movies.

    1. Dan says:

      Excellent. You want to clean them up before they start to stink.

  38. Kristin says:

    I live in Whippany (Hanover Township). I know that Lewis Morris Park, Convent Station, Madison and Morris Township have them. I have none!! Dies this mean because they are out in bordering towns that we won’t get them? I guess I will start having to drive around to find them.

    1. Dan says:

      Well, unfortunately they aren’t everywhere. There are gaps in their range.

  39. Lois says:

    Saddle River?

  40. Jim G says:

    I was at the same address in Montclair in 1996, and recall seeing some holes in the soil and a handful of these orange-eyed critters back then. But this year is much worse (or better, if you are a fan of these bugs). I see them all over the yard, on the wall of the garage and on my car, and I hear their droning noise in the trees. I don’t remember that from ’96. They started coming up about a week ago, but the past 3 days (when temps jumped to the 90s) have been big-time for this brood. Most interesting, a little bit of creepy science-fiction / faction right here in my back yard. This IS an invasion, after all!

  41. jeff says:

    i live up in oak ridge nj 19 miles north of wayne and i have not seen any anywhere. do they not emerge in higher elevations like oak ridge,west milford,& vernon?

    1. Dan says:

      Elevation shouldn’t matter but soil type does. I think you have a rockier type soil where you are (of course I might just be thinking of my trips to the mine Franklin). The closest reported location to you is West Milford (see the map).

  42. Jeneane says:

    I have hundreds on the tree in the front of my house and in my backyard in Plainfield.I don’t hear the noise though- does this only happen during the day?
    I’m so freaked out by them, anxiously waiting for them to go away

    1. Dan says:

      The noise happens during they day. It takes them 3 or so days to start making the noise, so they should be singing soon.

  43. stephanie says:

    they are all over our yard in berkeley heights nj

  44. Wendy Grecco says:

    You missed Wayne in Passaic county. We are over run with them. Can’t even come out of the house today.
    The males have started their mating calls. My backyard is unbearably
    loud. When are they going away?!?!?

    1. Dan says:

      They’ll probably be dead in 3 to 4 weeks. What are some towns in Passaic where they are emerging?

  45. MaryAnn says:

    They are everywhere in my area of Colonia. Singing away during the day they seem to quiet once it gets dark. Why are there so many dead? Lots of dead ones all over the streets, walkways already. Hundreds if not thousands of them are still going strong but I was wondering why there were so many dead ones.

    1. Dan says:

      There are typically a lot of dead ones. Death can occur for a number of reasons, including 1) attack by other insects like ants, 2) damage from other cicadas crawling on top of them during the ecdysis phase. 3) weather related damage from wind or rain, and a lot are simply malformed. This actually works in their advantage as a whole because the predators will feast on the weak or dead ones and the healthy ones will live on to reproduce.

  46. Dennis says:

    Millions of them in the tree/grass rich areas in Westfield. They’ve started singing. Sounds like dozens of industrial vacuum cleaners all at once. Impressive.

  47. Seth says:

    Coming out heavily today in Montclair (07043), first appreared a week and a half ago but not nearly as many as today…

  48. Mary says:

    I live in Edison, and they started about aweek ago emerging. There are literally hundreds in my backyard alone. How long til they stop coming up from underground? They have been coming up at dusk for about a week, not so much on the couple of cooler evening’s but last night alot! The noise they make is loud, but not annoying, sounds like a siren on its way, but not quite close to my house yet if that makes sense. I’m thinking with it hitting close to 90 the next couple of days, there will be many more to come, am I right?

  49. Karen says:

    I live in Colonia which is in Middlesex county these bugs are everywhere,even on telephone poles, bushes, plants covered with them.Its really creepy.Thanks for all ur info, i learned alot, but when will they go away? There are times there’s so many i cant go near certain areas. Im worried about my garden, but i have to say only a few compared to grass,plants, and trees and telephone poles, looks like they are eating away on the pole, u see the wood from poles on the ground.

    1. Dan says:

      They’ll be gone in about 3 to 4 weeks. Fortunately they do not eat plants.

  50. Jonathan Poor says:

    Very abundant in Maplewood, Essex County, in areas near South Mountain Reservation. I haven’t seen them at all in areas down in the valley (Rahway River). Are they delayed in the lower elevations? Or could they be distributed that unevenly?

    I can hear them in a chorus up on the ridge…

    1. Dan says:

      They are distributed unevenly.

  51. MaryAnn says:

    Will the cold weather that we have had for the last 3 days impact the Cicadas?

    1. Dan says:

      Yes. Any temps below 57 F puts them in a state of torpor (“a state of decreased physiological activity in an animal, usually by a reduced body temperature and rate of metabolism”), which makes them easier prey for birds, and easier for rain to knock them on the ground. The cicadas still in the earth will be fine.

  52. debbie says:

    What about Morris Township/ Randolph area? Moved here October 1996 so would have just missed them if they were herer 17 yrs ago. I hope they’re not expected here?

    1. Dan says:

      Yes — it is definitely possible. There’s been sightings in the area. Zoom in on the map.

  53. Gray Russell says:

    In Montclair 07043 during a brief walk around my conventionally-sized property this mornming I spotted 12 magicicadas, plus most of their nymph casings. Tomorrow I will conduct a more in-depth search. My property also hosts a family of cicada killers, another non-threatening part of our local ecosystem, but they usually don’t emerge until mid-July.

  54. Gabby says:

    I live in Dunellen, NJ. I wasn’t living in this area 17 years ago and I have no idea what I may be in for? Is Dunellen going to be a hot zone for these creepy crawlers? Also, what is their life span after they emerge?

    1. Dan says:

      Dunellen should be in range. They don’t show up in every yard or neighborhood, but Dunellen should have some. A single individual can last anywhere from minutes (if a bird gets it) to 5 weeks (when kept in captivity), but three weeks for a healthy, lucky individual is more reasonable. An entire emergence event lasts longer than that.

  55. Roxanne says:

    I live in Metuchen. Today I walked out into my backyard and I counted 19 cicada shells all along our tree and a few on our deck. I haven’t heard them singing as of yet. I’m not too bothered by them but they are a little creepy and gross.

  56. MaryAnn says:

    They are all over Colonia. They started last Friday. But yesterday and today they are all over trees, fences. How long until they start “singing”? I actually saw one shedding its shell this morning. Interesting but a bit creepy too.

    1. Dan says:

      It usually takes a week before they start to chorus (sing in unison). The cold weather this weekend might prolong the wait, but if not, probably next Wednesday give or take a few days.

  57. Dennis says:

    I’m in Westfield and the outside walls of my house as well as trees and telephone poles in the street are literally covered with hatching cicadas. It’s quite a sight!

  58. Tom says:

    I am a new resident of West Orange having lived in NYC for years. I had no idea what these “beetles” were last night but they were all over the lawn and our walkway. I was a bit unnerved by them. It was my research on line that led me to this page. I mean they were EVERYWHERE. Little brown bugs all over the lawn. Not sure if it’s because my house backs up to a wooded area that there are so many. Are multiple wholes in the earth a sign of where they emerged from?

    1. Dan says:

      That’s right. They emerged from the holes.

  59. Kat says:

    They are everywhere in Fanwood (yikes)

  60. sam says:

    do you think they are coming to hillsborough nj though?

    1. Dan says:

      I don’t have a record of it, but it’s highly possible. There are records of emergences in Belle Mead which boarders the town.

  61. jen says:

    so….as fascinating as this emergence may be it is making me think i will not be outside much. i don’t know what to expect. maybe you can calm my fears a little? i am picturing them flying all around outside making it difficult to be outside without them being all over you! i have my umbrellas ready to go. i live in hillsborough in somerset county.

    1. Dan says:

      They’re fairly calm in the morning and evening (and night). If you go about your business at those times, you can avoid then.

  62. stephanie says:

    Plainfield is in Union County. South Plainfield is in in Middlesex County- did you mean there?
    And just for trivia’s sake, North Plainfield is in Somerset County.
    They all boarder each other but are in different counties.

    1. Dan says:

      Thanks. I’ve fixed the counties. I would bet that all the Plainfields will see cicadas this year.

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