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April 2, 2013

The most interesting 17 year cicada facts

If you have 18 minutes to spare, watch the video version of this article:

Or save 15 minutes and just read it:

These are the 17 most interesting 17-year cicada facts (in my humble opinion). All these facts apply to 13 year cicadas as well. And always report periodical cicada sightings to so cicada researchers can track them. Two broods of periodical cicadas will emerge in 2015, Brood IV & XXIII.

  1. Names: People call these cicadas “locusts” but they are not true locusts — real locusts look like grasshoppers. The phrase “17 year cicada” indicates that they arrive every 17 years. The name “periodical cicadas” indicates that they arrive periodically and not each and every year. The scientific name for the Genus of these cicadas is Magicicada, and there are 3 types of 17 year Magicicadas: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. This is a true locust:
  2. There are 13-year cicadas too: there are 13 year cicadas too! There are four species of 13-year cicadas: Magicicada tredecim, Magicicada neotredecim, Magicicada tredecassini, and Magicicada tredecula. Broods XIX, XXII and XXIII feature these cicadas.

    Here’s a video that will help you identify the various species:

  3. Eye Color: Most 17 Year Cicadas have red eyes, but they can also have white, gray, blue , yellow , or multi-colored eyes
    White Eyed Cicada
  4. Fungus: The Massospora fungus infects Magicicadas, filling their abdomens and destroying their ability to reproduce. Often, their entire abdomen will fall off. The cicadas actually spread the fungus throughout their local colony via mating — the Massospora fungus is a cicada STD!
  5. They’ll attack land on you if you’re using a power tool or lawn mower. Cicadas think the sounds made by power tools and lawn maintenance equipment are made by cicadas. They get confused and will land on the people using the equipment! Pro-tip: cut your lawn in the early morning or near dusk when the cicadas are less active.
    Cicadas on Man
  6. Cicadas have five eyes: Cicadas have two, obvious, large, compound eyes, and three ocelli. Ocelli are three jewel-like eyes situated between the two main, compound eyes of a cicada. We believe ocelli are used to detect light and darkness. Ocelli means little eyes in Latin.
    5 eyes.
  7. People eat them: People eat them. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There, uh, cicada kabobs, cicada creole, cicada gumbo, panfried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple cicada, lemon cicada, coconut cicada, pepper cicada, cicada soup, cicada stew, cicada salad, cicada and potatoes, cicada burger, cicada sandwich… that’s, that’s about it.
    Cicada Ice Cream
  8. Animals eat them: all wild animals and domestic pets will eat them. Dogs will gorge themselves until they choke. Squirrels will eat them like corn on the cob. Wild turkeys will grow fat and juicy on the cicada feast. Fish go crazy for them too — you can use them as bait, or use lures that mimic them.
  9. Cicadas “eat” tree fluids: Cicadas don’t eat solid foods — instead they use their slender, straw-like mouth parts to drink tree fluids.
  10. Cicadas pee: Yes cicadas pee, so wear a hat when walking under trees if that sort of thing bothers you. Cicadas drink tree fluids, and then expel the excess fluid they do now need. People call it “honey dew” or “cicada rain”.
  11. That cicada sound: Only male cicadas make the sound they’re famous for. Males have organs on their abdomen called tymbals. Muscles pop the tymbals in and out, which creates the sound we hear. Males make different calls for different reasons, and each species has a unique sound. Females can make sound too — they flick their wings to respond to males. Read this article for more information.
  12. There are billions of them: there are literally billions of 17 year cicadas. Why? One theory suggests that the large number of cicadas overwhelms predators, so predators are never able to eat them all and cicadas, and many always survive to mate. This is a survival strategy called “predator satiation”.
  13. They damage wimpy trees: the biggest concern about 17 year cicadas is their potential to damage young trees. The truth is they will damage limbs on the wimpiest of trees, so if you if you have weak, pathetic, wimpy ornamental trees in your yard you should consider placing netting around the trees if the cicadas visit your yard. Also you can try hosing them off with water, placing insect barrier tape around the trunk of the trees, or picking them off like grapes! Or, plant strong, beefy American trees — that’s what I would do. Cicadas actually benefit the health of trees by aerating the soil around the roots, and trimming the weak or damaged limbs.
  14. Stragglers: Periodical cicadas that emerge in years before they are supposed to emerge are called stragglers.
    hipster cicada
  15. 17 and 13 are prime numbers. Scientist speculate that one reason why these cicadas emerge in 17 or 13 year cycles is because those are prime numbers. The fact that 13 & 17 are relatively large* prime numbers makes it difficult for predators to synchronize with them. (*Relative to the average lifespan of an animal.) Annual cicadas (cicadas that arrive every year) often have wasps specialized to prey on them; periodical cicadas have no such wasp because no wasp could evolve to synch with it.
  16. They use their color to warm up: Cicadas need to be warm to sing and fly around, but they’re cold blooded. Their dark skin absorbs the heat of the sun, which helps to warm them up.
  17. 17 year and 13 year broods co-emerge every 221 years. Cicada Broods usually don’t overlap geographically, and it is very rare when they emerge in the same year. The next time Brood II (the brood emerging in 2013) will co-emerge with another brood will be in 2115 when it co-emerges with Brood XIX. You might need a time machine to see that happen.

Bonus: More information on the morphology of 17 and 13 year cicadas, so you can tell the difference…

Another bonus:

What is the taxonomy of the Magicicada genus?

Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Arthropoda (arthropods)
Subphylum: Hexapoda (hexapods)
Class: Insecta (insects)
Subclass: Pterygota (winged insects)
Infraclass: Neoptera (wing-folding insects)
Order: Hemiptera Linnaeus, 1758 (true bugs)
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha (hoppers)
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily: Cicadoidea
Family: Cicadidae Latreille, 1802 (cicadas)
Subfamily: Cicadettinae Buckton, 1889
Tribe: Taphurini Distant, 1905
Subtribe: Tryellina Moulds, 2005
Genus: Magicicada Davis, 1925


  1. do you know what states the bugs will be this year

    Comment by florence — May 4, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  2. Southern Ohio, Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Southern Pennsylvania, Western parts of Virginia & W. Virginia, and parts of New York & New Jersey .

    I live in Central PA and started hearing and seeeing the flying adults just today (June 5, 2008)

    Comment by Lisa S — June 5, 2008 @ 7:58 am

  3. someone said the cicadas do not bite .they are wrong they do bite .we were sitting tobacco in 1992 when they were here.they would light on our legs. and arms. back.and bite us it really hurt i lived in richmond ky anyone working our in the field can tell you they do bite.

    Comment by Edna Simpson — June 8, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  4. What can be done for your trees after eggs have been laid inside them?

    Comment by cynthia — June 14, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  5. How long will they hang around? I am in Kentucky and I am anxious for them to leave!!!

    Comment by nancyed2003 — June 15, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

  6. can cicada accully bite you or not or is it just a sting

    Comment by sam — June 26, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

  7. They can poke you with their straw-like mouthpiece, but unlike flies or bees they don’t do this maliciously — they only do it when they think you’re a tree.

    Comment by Dan — June 26, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  8. I live in Arizona and we have cicadas every year, and every year they make an unholy racket from May through August. I have seen these bugs, they look very similar to all the pictures I’ve seen on your site.
    So why are we seeing them for such a long stretch every single year? I wish they would only come out every 17 years, and only last a month, as your site claims.
    I now associate the noise with the boiling heat of our summers. Why are we seeing them every year? Why does it last for 3 whole months? The noise is getting very tiresome.

    Comment by tb — August 1, 2008 @ 9:49 am

  9. Okay- Minnesota here and dusk, sitting on my back porch as the sun is nearly set. I hear two ten second or so sounds that are just like a cicada, only about
    500 times louder. I have never heard anything like it. I know the sounds of cicadas and this was definitely a single insect. Any ideas? I have never heard
    anything like it before!

    Comment by Joe — August 17, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  10. Joe — Katydids, most likely.

    Comment by Dan — August 17, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  11. Hey Dan- If that was a katydid, I am the pope! It was incredibly loud.

    Comment by Joe — August 19, 2008 @ 8:11 am

  12. Joe — you might want to stop by the pointy hat store, because Conehead katydids can be mighty loud!

    Comment by Dan — August 19, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  13. Comment to Edna Simpson above – they DO NOT bite. They can’t – they don’t have teeth.

    Comment by Karen — August 26, 2008 @ 2:45 am

  14. Well we have lots of the cicadas at Goldendale WA on our place and sort of enjoy looking for them. I have several in a jar, some skins and some was alive when put in the jar. I hear them at night and all day too. I am not going to eat any though but thanks any way see ya Ted It is June 18 2009

    Comment by Diane Kennedy — June 18, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  15. We had 17-year cicadas in Northern Illinois in 2007. Today, I found a 17-year cicada on a tree alive. Is
    this common?

    Comment by Marsha — June 21, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  16. Marsha — it is odd to find one 2 years later. Usually straggling (when a periodic cicada emerges early or later) happens one year later or 4 years prior. But nothings seems impossible.

    Comment by Dan — June 22, 2009 @ 4:36 am

  17. I think these facts are sooooooooooo interesting!!!:)

    Comment by Susannah — February 22, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  18. My 6 yr. old daughter and I found what I assume is an annual cicada (green eyes and limbs)today in our yard. We watched for a while and then came in to research. Thanks for all of the info. I remember a huge emergence of cicadas when I was a child and look forward to sharing the experience with my kids!

    Comment by Amy — July 31, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  19. i want the sound of minnesota cicada but cant find it anywhere…any clues?

    Comment by robi — August 6, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  20. Robi, Probably an Okanakana or Tibicen. Check out the cicada links on this page and see if they’re what you’re looking for.

    Comment by Dan — August 6, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  21. I caught a cicada with the shape of a white bow on its stomach.
    I can’t find any reference to this.

    Comment by Lonnie — May 28, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  22. send a photo to

    Comment by Dan — May 28, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  23. How long (how many weeks) will the 17 year cicadas be around once they start emerging en masse? Will they continue to emerge after the initial “invasion”?

    Comment by Jennifer — May 31, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  24. 4 weeks, and yes.

    Comment by Dan — May 31, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  25. OK – so an emergence lasts 4 (to 6) weeks. What does tht mean, exactly?Our cicadas have been around for about a week, with tons of the shells clinging to everything at this point, and seemingly fewer live insects than shells. We are planning a community Garden Walk 4 weeks from now. If we clean up all the shells in the next couple of weeks, should we expect to have lots more shells / bodies to clean up in 4 weeks?

    Comment by Jennifer — May 31, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  26. Hello, I experienced the (I think) 2007 emergence in suburban Chicago. I was wondering why is it every 17 years? Is that known? What I’m getting at is why don’t some turn 17 years old every year? Or is there some environmental event that triggers the brooding. Thank you!

    Comment by MJ — March 26, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  27. We don’t know exactly why 17 years, but there are a number of theories. I believe Stephen Jay Gould (in his book “Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History”) first postulated that their long, prime-number life cycles evolved over time in order to avoid gaining a (above ground) predator that would specifically target these cicadas. This theory was fleshed out in the paper “EVOLUTION OF PERIODICITY IN PERIODICAL CICADAS” by NICOLAS LEHMANN-ZIEBARTH and others (all caps because I’m cutting and pasting from the actual document). If some emerged every year in the same location, a predator would eventually evolve to prey on them, and their numbers would be limited, just like annual cicadas like the Tibicen. Tibicens emerge every year in relatively small numbers, and they have a specific wasp that preys upon them (Cicada Killer Wasp).

    Comment by Dan — March 26, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  28. We are being bombarded with these creatures. How do I protect my tender vegetation and trees from them? Is there any way?

    Comment by Edie — May 6, 2012 @ 10:32 am

  29. I should write an article about that. Damage occurs when the females lay their eggs. They lay their eggs, make grooves in the branches, which causes “flagging”, or browning of the leaves. They actually do the trees a favor by pruning the weakest branches. That said, they primarily go after trees, so shrubs, flowers and garden plants are generally speaking, safe. Weaker ornamental trees and fruit trees are at a greater risk – the ornamental trees because they are generally small and weak, and the fruit trees, because no farmer wants to lose part of her harvest. For the ornamental trees and fruit trees you can try the insect tape (usually blue or metallic) that wraps around tree trunks, and netting to wrap around the limbs. You can also chase then off with a hose. Unless the majority of your landscaping is petite ornamental trees, you probably don’t have much to worry about. They’ve been doing their think every 17 years for thousands of years, and there are still plenty of trees around to show for it.

    Comment by Dan — May 6, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  30. […] hours), but these aren’t your normal, friendly neighborhood variety. No no, these critters, they PEE on your head. Affable Lizard employee Fiona gave me the 411 as she led me down the path to my room the first […]

    Pingback by Now I See Why They Call it That — Camels & Chocolate: Tales from a Travel Addict — June 19, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  31. Dan, I know they are just bugs, I was just traumatized as young kid in camp in southern indiana in 1987. Need I say more? Well, I have some in my back yard, haven’t seen any shells but saw a straggler almost fly into me the other day, yes I screamed and ran like an idiot. Luckily this is not Brood X. My question to you is what can be done to minimze an invasion? (I am thinking ahead for 2021) If they’re up in the trees I can deal with that but when they are just like a plague from the Bible, I am petrified. I know I need therapy.

    Comment by angel — July 19, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  32. Have you ever seen a cicada land on a moving car at 60 mph?

    Comment by Matt — August 6, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  33. It’s possible. If one flies across the road while you’re driving down it.

    Comment by Dan — August 6, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

  34. I hear them each day/night now and love the sound. Today I found a dead one. It was not he skeleton but the complete one. It is black, with black eyes. I live in Nothern Virginia. Is the 17 year one? Very curious.

    Comment by Ursula — August 18, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  35. It is most likely a Tibicen, which is a species of cicada that comes out every year in small numbers.

    Comment by Dan — August 19, 2012 @ 6:44 am

  36. I lived in Staten island by a while ago. I remember not being able to open my front door. They would cling to mu window screen and on the floor it would be close to a 2 ” carpet of red eyed locusts it was disgusting. I had to get a pushbroom to make a path out. Is it like that in central AZ too? It doesn’t happen in the gulf of fl like that! I like bugs but i got creeped out when my house is engulfed in them.

    Comment by sandra — January 27, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  37. Hi!

    I just recently read “Being dead”, a novel by Jim Crace where he mentions cicadas in Ecuador which ‘live’ in diesel. It sounds intriguing and I was wondering if this is fact or fiction?


    Comment by Adelie — February 21, 2013 @ 9:09 am

  38. I don’t think so. I’ve I hear something I’ll leave a comment about it.

    Comment by Dan — February 21, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  39. I live in NJ and heard about the cicadas after i was bragging about my vegetable garden that i started over the weekend. Any reason to worry?

    Comment by mugsy — April 8, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  40. Cicadas are tree parasites, and don’t care much about garden plants. They don’t eat leaves or fruit like grasshopper locusts. Any damage cicadas cause happens when they lay eggs in tree branches.

    Comment by Dan — April 8, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  41. Wait, wait, when I lived in Asia during my childhood, I remember we had cicadas every summer! The 17/13-year cycle, does that apply only to the New World? Or do different members of the cicada family emerge in different years to make a nearly-annual showing of cicadas?

    Comment by but wait — April 10, 2013 @ 11:11 am

  42. It’s just one particular genus of cicada in North America that has 17 or 13 year cycles.

    Comment by Dan — April 10, 2013 @ 11:55 am

  43. Hi, can you tell me if winchester tennessee 37398 will get the cicadas this year 2013 ? thanks ….i hate them things …

    Comment by judy — April 11, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  44. Thanks for the facts
    I am making a huge tracking kit chart and 5 page work sheet for my dad’s b day tomorrow and i was looking for more facts

    Comment by leo — April 11, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  45. No 17 year cicadas for Tennessee this year

    Comment by Dan — April 11, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

  46. will they jam up your pool or will they stay away from the water?

    Comment by Kevin — April 13, 2013 @ 11:28 am

  47. Yes. If enough of them die and fall into your pool. They aren’t interested in the water, but if they fall from trees they can clog a pool pump. You just have to make sure you check and clean it out before that happens.

    Comment by Dan — April 14, 2013 @ 4:54 am

  48. Will they be in the northern panhandle of West Virginia this year?

    Comment by Judy — April 16, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

  49. According to the maps, it doesn’t look like it. 2016/Brood V is the next time they’ll be in at least part of the panhandle.

    Comment by Dan — April 17, 2013 @ 6:55 am

  50. I am eagerly awaiting the emergence of the Brood II cicada in my neighborhood and yard. I have lived in the same location for 26 years, so have fond memories of the last emergence here in 1996. Have not seen any chimneys yet and the ground temperature hasn’t been consistently 64 F yet. Last time around, we learned to live with them since we understood that they were harmless. This time, I find it utterly fascinating to observe this natural phenomena. Of course after a couple of weeks, I will probably get tired of the noise and having to sweep my sidewalk so much! :)

    Comment by Carla — April 19, 2013 @ 7:48 am

  51. I live in catonsville, maryland 21228. Will this be a big area where the Brood II will appear?

    Comment by Makayla Willson — April 27, 2013 @ 4:50 am

  52. 21228 — maybe it’s close to one of the recorded points on the map.

    Comment by Dan — April 30, 2013 @ 2:40 am

  53. do they ever occur in Vermont?

    Comment by toby kravitz — May 5, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

  54. The 17 year variety do not appear in Vermont, but annual species do, such as T. canicularis (Dog Day cicada) and O. canadensis.

    Comment by Dan — May 5, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  55. I’m in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. I’m thinking about a ‘pecan pie’ recipe for the cicadas. I see that I want the females, teneral if possible. But I’m worried about the abdomen fungus mentioned. Will I be able to spot an infected female with untrained eyes?

    Although, I guess what does it matter? If you’re going to eat a bug pie, what’s a little fungus?

    Comment by ken pickle — May 5, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  56. Not sure about the fungus, but there are plenty of resources on the web to guide you through insect preparation and cooking.

    Comment by Dan — May 6, 2013 @ 4:48 am

  57. Hi, I’m looking for Magicicadas around Larchmont, NY. Does anyone know of an emergence (17 years ago) in this area? Thanks!

    Comment by Taylor Lee — May 6, 2013 @ 5:18 am

  58. I live in Phx, Arizona. We have the annual kind of Cicada’s here and it amazes me how many people call them Locust, usually people who aren’t from here. I look forward to hearing them – although many people here do not share my enthusiasm. I’d never heard of the 13yr-17yr Cicada’s, so when I saw the “headline”, I followed the link. I’m so glad I did. These facts (and the comments too) gave me the answer to “what did you learn today?”.. I plan to share this with my family as we are starting to hear them now. TOTALLY COOL. Thank you so much for the “fun for my family” information.

    Comment by Janice — May 7, 2013 @ 3:39 am

  59. Janice, chances are you’ve seen or heard Cacama cicadas living in Arizona

    Comment by Dan — May 7, 2013 @ 3:44 am

  60. The last 17 year cicada for my area (Baltimore County) was in 2004 but some counties did not see any at all. Probably because there were some newer developments that did not exist in 1987.

    Does it mean that some of the areas in MD that did not see the cicadas in 2004 will see them in 2013?

    Comment by Larry Hale — May 7, 2013 @ 8:39 am

  61. I might have made two posts today, sorry about that but I have a second question.
    Two trees were cut down by the county and I was wondering if this means that the roots will die along with the tree. Will the cicadas survive on the roots when the tree is gone?

    Comment by Larry Hale — May 7, 2013 @ 9:15 am

  62. That’s fine. Larry, yes, sometimes the roots survive and cicadas will still emerge from the ground. I’ve observed this personally. Crab apple trees were removed and years later the cicadas still emerged.

    Comment by Dan — May 7, 2013 @ 9:33 am

  63. Larry, the broods II (2013) and X(2004) overlap in the following counties St. Marys, Prince Georges, Montgomery, Charles, Calvert, Baltimore, Anne Arundel.

    Possibly not in the same towns.

    Comment by Dan — May 7, 2013 @ 9:41 am

  64. I live in upstate NY, NE of Syracuse. Will the 2013 cicadas extend this far north? Thanks!

    Comment by Bob P — May 8, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  65. No 17 year cicadas north of Syracuse but there are annual cicadas like Tibicen and Okanagana.

    Comment by Dan — May 8, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

  66. Thanks, Dan. Although it would have been interesting as I haven’t seen nor heard them for 50 years or so.

    Comment by Bob P — May 8, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

  67. There are large yellow subterranean wasp that kill and take the insect into its nest under ground. In Texas we call these wasp locust killers. Its fascinating to watch this attack. The wasp are relentless once the are focused on there prey.
    Would you happen to know the name of the wasp?

    Comment by Dale Bates — May 10, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

  68. Those wasps are called Cicada Killer Wasps (Sphecius speciosus). No kidding. Here’s the interesting part: there isn’t a Cicada Killer Wasp that attacks periodical cicadas. No wasp was able to synchronize with periodical cicadas because of their huge 17 year life cycle. Cicada Killer Wasps go for annual species of cicadas, like those that belong to the genus Tibicen.

    Comment by Dan — May 10, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

  69. Will they invade my pool? Should we wait to open it until after the cicadas leave?

    Comment by Pam Adler — May 14, 2013 @ 4:43 am

  70. They’ll accidentally fly into your pool, or when they die they can fall into it. They won’t purposely go into the pool.

    Remember to clean your pool filter and skim often.

    Pool filter basket of cicadas

    Comment by Dan — May 14, 2013 @ 4:53 am

  71. I’m from NJ do we have like an estimated date as to when they may come? My daughters haven’t seen them yet, and I remember as a kid I didn’t like them to much. I don’t want them to be shocked one day with all the bugs..

    Comment by Amanda — May 17, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  72. Definitely within the next 2-3 weeks. A few have emerged in Westfield and Iselin already. When the emerge depends on the weather. If it gets chilly they’ll stay in their holes, but once it gets into the 80s the emergence will explode.

    Comment by Dan — May 17, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

  73. Holy Cow! They’re EVERYWHERE!!!! My dogs won’t stop eating them!!! Eden, NC

    Comment by tlc1723 — May 21, 2013 @ 7:43 am

  74. Since the past 5-6 days, i noticed these hard shelled termite looking insects outsid our garage. the numbers grew rapidly and now, we step on them while walking to a car! Some winged cicadas resembling the pictures posted above are also present. they all latch on to the concrete wall. The shelled creatures ae dying and falling to the ground and thus we step on these crunchy things.
    I thought they were termites – and am scared of damage to the house but plan on calling a pest expert to ensure these are cicadas! interestingly, I also noticed an increase in number of dead black fuzzy spiders in that area!
    We live in Warren NJ. yes it’s true, their activity diminished with the rain. We have a tall oak tree about 15 feet from where i saw these cicadas (if that’s what they are) and I saw 2 of them at teh base of teh tree, on on teh trunk about 3 ‘ above ground. I hope they are not that much of a menace as the internet claims it may become this year

    Comment by A Jain — May 25, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

  75. My New York husband and I (GA born) are having a heated conversation about two
    nymph “shells” and a dead adult (17 year) we found while out walking today, 5/29. (The dead adult was on the ground.) I told him that Cicadas in Georgia are a bit larger. I collected nymphs and adults since I was a child, and later with my two sons. Can Cicadas vary in size in different regions of the US? My hobby was collecting insects for many years. He disagrees with me about size, which I find baffling.
    You have a gorgeous Website. Congratulations.

    Best Regards,
    brenda lester

    Comment by Brenda — May 29, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  76. Brenda, there are over approximately 170 species of cicadas in North America, many of which are larger than the 17 year cicadas. Like the tibicen:

    T. canicularis looks quite different from T. davisi

    Comment by Dan — May 29, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

  77. How long before they go away

    Comment by faye — May 30, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  78. 3 to 4 weeks after they start singing they would be gone.

    Comment by Dan — May 30, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  79. Your info. is great. We live in Brooklyn, NY. 11201. Will they be descending on us??

    Comment by Joy P — June 2, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  80. They won’t visit Brooklyn, but they’re right the bridge in Staten Island.

    Comment by Dan — June 2, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  81. We are still waiting for them to arrive here in Marlboro, New Jersey. Any chance they have had a change in plans?!

    Comment by Pam — June 3, 2013 @ 3:28 am

  82. Any chance they have decided to “skip” Marlboro New Jersey?

    Comment by Pam — June 3, 2013 @ 3:28 am

  83. They probably don’t exist in Marlboro. For the most part they dont’t exisit south of the Raritan river.

    Comment by Dan — June 3, 2013 @ 4:40 am

  84. Thanks! When will they be gone for good from New Jersey?

    Comment by Pam — June 3, 2013 @ 7:00 am

  85. OMG!!! They are everywhere. Their shells are still attached to my house afterwards. Don’t tell me to get over it….they freak me out. I leave my house and feel like we are being invaded by locusts!!! The sound is unbelievably loud and I am petrified of being bitten. It’s just gross. I live in the woods in PA. I’ve been here almost 20 years and NEVER saw anything like this!!!

    Comment by Donna Abraham — June 3, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  86. 3 to 4 weeks.

    Comment by Dan — June 3, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  87. I remember the red eyed cicadas in 1996 when living in Louisville, KY. I now live in Southern MN and wondering if we will see any of them this year up here? What an interesting creature!

    Comment by Colleen — June 4, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

  88. I am just wondering when did the cicadas actually start and when will they be almost all gone…planning a party and dont want guests to be bothered or myself for thst matter???

    Comment by Lisa — June 10, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

  89. when did the cicadas actually start and when will they be just about all gone…planning a party and dont want guests to be bothered or myself for that matter

    Comment by Lisa — June 10, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  90. When they started depends on your location, but they’re usually around for 3 to 4 weeks once they start singing. Rain and cool weather can prolong that time. Probably the worst part of having a garden party would be the odor the dead ones create. Make sure you clean up.

    Comment by Dan — June 10, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  91. I’m on pleasant plains Staten Island. Me and my children have not been outside in weeks because of my phobia of bugs. I know they don’t bite I know they are harmless but I fear bugs! My skin crawls knowing they are out there and I lose it at least 3x a day!! Please when will thus go away!!!!! I want to go outside!!!!! Also will we wake up one day and its just all over or do the slowly go away??

    Comment by Grace — June 11, 2013 @ 3:52 am

  92. Hi, my daughter Kara has become very excited about cicada’s. She recently has learned that alive cicada’s have red eyes but when they die they no longer have red eyes!

    Comment by Kara — June 15, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  93. There are billions buzzing and swarming around the woods alongside the tracks and buildings near the Metro Park train station in Iselin, NJ.

    Comment by Jonah Giacalone — June 23, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  94. I will not see them again until 2021 when I am 71 years old. Hope I will still be around.

    Comment by Lorenzo1950 — June 23, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

  95. I live on the third floor in an apartment and I never have windows open or doors, my place is always clean etc. I had a big test to go to that I waited for months to take and had a few hours of sleep for the whole week and put my ash tray under the couch and I always get on the floor and look, did not must solide it under. I passes the test somehow and didn’t study, come home to pull the ash tray out, and then a green bodied, black eyed, clear winged cicada was dying(later found out) but defenitely freaked me out. I left at 5:00 a.m. before sun was up and came back at 10:00 a.m. I don’t have plants, and the couch is red and microfiber. I took it outside. Have any idea how it got there and why it would be under the couch?

    Comment by mr huey — October 8, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

  96. I have pictures. How do you post them?

    Comment by mr huey — October 8, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

  97. email them to

    Comment by Dan — October 10, 2013 @ 3:37 am

  98. I found one in my backyard and i seriously screemed and ran insdie.. i was on my balence beam and i heard buzzing and i looked over and it was like running ito a party of our roof aned rite know it is just sitting there…. its huge! :o :( CCAN THEY HURT YOU? :(

    Comment by Korey — October 10, 2013 @ 8:36 am

  99. I live in Baton Rouge La and I have then. They have been here a week. I read your web site to see when the would leave. I’m not scared of them. Just wont them to leave. They come out every night around 9:00pm.

    Comment by Susan — May 12, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  100. I live in southern Iowa and for the last 4 days we have the Cicada mania the orange eyed kind that come out every 17 yrs. Like clockwork, on our 17th wedding anneversary they start to emerge. These will last for about 6 weeks and then will die off. Great fish bait, got to gather some and go fishing.

    Comment by Marie — June 4, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

  101. I live in Madison Co., Iowa and this is the second time we’ve experienced the 17-year cicadas here. I have noticed no damage to the trees and I’ve never experienced problems such as being peed on although we live in a wooded area. They have a lovely crescendo to their song if you take the time to listen. They are singing right now. I respectfully suggest that we should appreciate their uniqueness and learn to share the space with the other inhabitants of this planet.

    Comment by Kate — June 13, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  102. I am amazed at how many negative comments… I grew up in IN til I was 13 and loved listening to them in the woods behind our house… been in AZ for 23 yrs since then and still enjoy sitting on my porch listening to locust this time of year…. makes me feel like I’m not in town with neighbors right next door or 3 miles away.. Thank you Cicadas for an evening song.. darn crybabies… quit ur belly aching… Cicadas are awesome

    Comment by Trevor — July 2, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  103. I live in CNY and found a shell this morning and heard one singing tonight. We recently cut down a pine tree that was dying, could this have caused them to appear?

    Comment by Deb Weber — July 12, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

  104. Probably an annual cicada species. NY has 12 species of annual cicadas.

    Comment by Dan — July 13, 2014 @ 12:33 am

  105. I look forward to the cicadas each year and love hearing them sing to me.
    I’ve read every thing I can and find no time table regarding their life span and the stages they go thro.

    Comment by Billy C. Loden — July 15, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  106. I’m earning a bachelor’s in ENV, would love to be in on the research end of this. Please contact me via email. Right now as I write to you, I have hatchling all inside my house and outside, these are the smaller darker cicada with red eyes. We were so excited that we were able to take pictures as they hatch. I’m in a suburb called Raleigh/Millington just outside of Memphis Tennessee

    Comment by Lynn Johnston — May 11, 2015 @ 7:24 am

  107. They are so thick on my porch that it is hard to walk. The crunch is unnerving. All my plants and trees are covered. One of my dogs eats them like they were candy. The dachshund just bites them until they move, them she slings them out of her mouth. I have never seem this many before, but the land next to us has been cleared, so they may have come over here to hang on our trees! I am 65 so that will put the time into perspective. The red eyes are peering out of everything! Creepy! I am in Ripley, Mississippi.

    Comment by Colleen Dunnam — May 11, 2015 @ 10:54 am

  108. There are hundreds of them here right now. I live in north Mississippi and I found this website because I wanted more info on the hundreds of them on my front porch.

    Comment by Lisa Parker — May 11, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

  109. I took pictures even caught a picture of a albino one.

    Comment by Lisa Parker — May 11, 2015 @ 10:27 pm

  110. Yup, we just started seeing them here in West TN (Counce/Pickwick Dam area.) Both shells and live bugs are everywhere when you really start looking for them. They haven’t become just a huge nuisance, and I haven’t heard even one “Pharoah-Pharoah” hum yet…. but I know it’s coming!!! I actually remember seeing another type of cicada here just a few years ago, but there weren’t that many and they didn’t really look like these. They were much bigger. I don’t see the option to leave a picture of them here or I would. Great website by the way, exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for helping everyone out!

    Comment by Anecia Price — May 14, 2015 @ 5:15 am

  111. I live in Blue Mountain,MS, our yard and trees are covered with them. In the mornings my husband has to use the blower to blow them off the porch. There are shells stuck on the porch posts, the brick and even the picnic table. Never seen anything like this in my life. I sat today and watched three shed their shells, Amazing!!!!

    Comment by Linda Hall — May 15, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

  112. 13 year cicada is in Southern Illinois….Carbondale and Makanda. National Gepgraphic is creating a 7 minute short aty work!!!! Yay for research!!!!

    Comment by Angie Preston — May 16, 2015 @ 2:50 am

  113. Yep! They’re taking over southern Illinois and I can’t wait for the singing! Just yesterday I noticed I’ve never seen so many exoskeletons, they are stuck to every stem in the yard and it’s cool! I live in the Carbondale/Makanda area too…

    Comment by Bassy Stacey — May 17, 2015 @ 7:19 am

  114. They are here in louisiana this year they started singing few days ago

    Comment by Jocelyn Dipley — May 17, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

  115. They started singing here in west Tn today,sounds like horror movie!! Creepy!!

    Comment by Condy — May 18, 2015 @ 9:22 am

  116. I live in Iuka Mississippi. We live near the woods where the Battle of Iuka was faught in The Civil War. The cicadas are all in the woods behind our house. They have gotten on some of my trees in our yard. How long will these casadas hang around? The noise they make is real deafening. Today is May 19-2015. They hAve been here a week.

    Comment by Peggy Rohloff — May 19, 2015 @ 8:24 am

  117. 4 weeks. Rain might make them last longer.

    Comment by Dan — May 19, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  118. We have them everywhere rite now Here in potts camp ms, the steady hum has been going for about 2/3 weeks now… skin everywhere and they have took over my only tree in my front yard

    Comment by adam — May 20, 2015 @ 9:04 am

  119. We live in Southaven Mississippi and have hundreds of shells under and on our trees. We also have lots of holes in the ground under the trees. Do they come from under the ground? The singing starting just a few days ago. I am freaked out by them and will not be planting any flowers or trimming bushes etc until they are gone. I remember these from when I was a child and hated them then as well.

    Comment by Sonia Herbert — May 21, 2015 @ 3:34 am

  120. I just started hearing the call of a single cicada outside the front of the house this afternoon. Cannot see it and only hear the one, so far. Parkville, Mo.

    Comment by Denise — May 21, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

  121. Will they be in western maryland this year??? Im excited… Havent seen them since 2004 when I was a kid.

    Comment by Vanessa — May 21, 2015 @ 9:07 pm

  122. Not this year. brood X will be back in MD in 2012.

    Comment by Dan — May 22, 2015 @ 1:35 am

  123. Hi I live in the family15108 area of Pennsylvania. When will I start seeing the cicadas in my area?

    Comment by Eva Russell — May 22, 2015 @ 1:35 am

  124. Eva, 2019 for sure, although, in 2016 Brood V will be out right across the border in OH and a bit of Pensy.

    Comment by Dan — May 22, 2015 @ 6:17 am

  125. My garden is covered by cicada wings. I have not found any shells in the garden, but during a walk in our back woods this morning, their little exoskeletons were everywhere. Is there a reason their wings are littering my garden? They are beautiful…

    Comment by Verna — May 22, 2015 @ 2:26 pm

  126. I live in Blue Springs, Mo. They are starting to really show up in my yard. Going out on my deck I found three live ones and I am not liking it. They really freak me out and I want them gone.

    Comment by Kim Craig — May 23, 2015 @ 2:53 pm

  127. Hi! I live in Fayette County, TN (southwest corner of the state) and I began hearing then to the east almost 3 weeks ago. Now they are on top and moving to the west. They are incredibly LOUD!!!! How much longer do you think I will hear them? I live in the country and love the outdoors… but, this is maddening and I can’t stay outside! Help!!!!

    Comment by Leslie — May 24, 2015 @ 3:40 pm

  128. We have them here in savannah and adamsville tn. Been going on about a week. My house has a cple hundred on them since it’s all wood.

    Comment by Punkey — May 26, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

  129. I also live in SW Tennessee (Shelby county) & there are Cicadas everywhere here (May 2915)-especially in the woods behind our home-it’s “extremely” loud. We hear two distinct sounds…one is the typical loud variable buzzing (buzz saw like)cicadas often make…And the other (we’d never heard before) a constant loud mechanical like whirring or loud “white noise” sound…it’s really horribly loud…. Some delivery people from the city were so intimidated by the sounds they said they’d never come into this area at night-it was downright spooky sounding. Even neighbors who’ve lived in the area their entire lives said they’ve never heard anything like this…some thought maybe the additional sounds were coming from some factory, some thought a broken loud speaker/security system, etc., etc… But after investigating it…it’s definitely coming from the woods without a seemingly apparent focal point-hence the cicadas in the trees…unlike anything we’ve ever heard before! It’s almost maddening! I’m wondering if it could be the whirring of their wings from just their sheer numbers (millions of them) combined with their usual calls?? Wish you had a link for audio/video…

    Comment by Suzanne — May 26, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

  130. They are in full force here in southern Arkansas, in the early mornings and late evenings you can hear what sounds like millions of them.

    Comment by michael — May 27, 2015 @ 6:28 am

  131. There are three species and each have their own repertoire of mating songs, defensive squawks, and choruses. All these sounds combined can make for an unusual symphony (or cacophony) of sounds… sounds that are often described as U.F.O.s (these are the M. tredecim), roaring static (these are the M. tredecassini), or the madness of a 1000 ticking clocks (M. tredecula + mating songs of other species). All together it can sound like a mad house factory. Hang in there, it only lasts for a few weeks.

    Comment by Dan — May 29, 2015 @ 4:40 am

  132. About 4 weeks or less of screaming.

    Comment by Dan — May 29, 2015 @ 4:51 am

  133. Temps were in the 40s last night and still chilly this morning in Topeka KS. The cicadas are on the trees by the hundreds and just falling to the ground before shedding. Will they come out of their shells if it warms up? Also what is the best way to preserve them for fish bait? Thanks for any info.

    Comment by Joyce Bishop — May 30, 2015 @ 8:28 am

  134. In Missouri here along 50 Hwy between Lee’s Summit and Warrensburg. The cicadas are LOUD and NUMEROUS! They are all in my woods. Will it be like this all summer? I have young peach trees, and wondering if they will hurt them.

    Comment by Dianne — May 31, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

  135. Not all summer. Maybe 4 weeks at most.

    Comment by Dan — May 31, 2015 @ 1:04 pm

  136. The ones that aren’t out of their shells (stuck half way) will die that way. The best was to preserve them for fish bait would be a refrigerator.

    Comment by Dan — June 4, 2015 @ 4:37 am

  137. Silverdale Ks. There everywhere the little red eyed cicadas’

    Comment by howard — June 4, 2015 @ 10:55 am

  138. They are thick at our farm in central kansas .they are not in the pasture because we burnt it off this year.we live along a creek and kansas has went from all being in drought to having the drought completely gone except for western kansas and that only because the water hasn’t made it to the aquifer out there yet.the 5 year drought was wiped out in one month we’ve had 21 inches in 2 months still chances of rain so locust are thick but none in town

    Comment by Mike frisbie — June 5, 2015 @ 5:10 pm

  139. I love that sound it has good memories with it. My grandkids are hearing them for the first time. When you hear the sound you know it’s summer.

    Comment by Debra — June 6, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

  140. We live in Wichita KS, and they are thick – hundreds of thousands of them in the trees. I can see them lining the branches and leaves. Not enjoyable to be outside!

    Comment by Joyous — June 7, 2015 @ 8:28 am

  141. Here in Southern Illinois just So. of Il. 146 & rt. 37. The cicadas ARE DEAFFINING.
    I have a forest behind my home and the big red bug eyed noisemakers are driving me batty !!

    Comment by Joann M — June 8, 2015 @ 3:06 pm

  142. They are everywhere here in Mclouth Ks. You can’t go outside without being covered by several. The noise is awful. I am ready for them to be gone!

    Comment by carolyn — June 8, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

  143. Only 4 weeks?someone promise me this is only 4 weeks!!!! Lawrence, ks here….I hear them from the woods as I Drive down for 435….when is the best time to mow my yard so I don’t get flocked

    Comment by Sarah geo — June 10, 2015 @ 3:08 pm

  144. They have been around now for about three, maybe four weeks here in the Kansas City area (we are in Independence, Mo). Our two dogs gorged on them for the first couple of weeks and they still look for them and relish them but not as fanatical as at first. Lots of trees here, my ears continue to buzz for a while even after coming in the house!

    Comment by Darlene — June 10, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

  145. We live at Beaver Lake in Nebraska. We have Brood IV? this year. We started seeing a few two weeks ago and started hearing them one week ago. Now there are thousands. We are enjoying watching them, learning about them, and listening to them. Very gentle and slow moving creatures. I feel rather blessed to be experiencing their 17 year emergence. It’s a magical thing that just shows you how amazing nature is.

    Comment by Linda — June 12, 2015 @ 10:21 pm

  146. Yes you have Brood IV.

    Comment by Dan — June 13, 2015 @ 4:36 am

  147. The cicadas are brooding in Nebraska this year. Know how I can tell? We are currently living in a camp full of them. And guess what? Being on staff I get to see them for 4 FULL WEEKS! YAY!1! (Please, just shut them up! XD) I am not included in this, but everyone who goes to the camp has created several different ways to kill them, which isn’t surprising considering their tendency to annoy and land on inconvenient parts of people. Okay, maybe I participate a little bit…

    Comment by Josiah — June 13, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

  148. I live in Topeka,KS & just saw these red eyed dive bombers for the first time. I had never heard of them before. I had to learn more about them, fascinating!!!

    Comment by Shellie Barr — June 22, 2015 @ 8:55 am

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