Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

Cicada T-shirts

January 11, 2017

Frequently asked questions about cicada insects

Filed under: FAQs — Dan @ 1:01 am


This is a list of all the cicada “frequently asked questions” on our site.

Cicada Biology

  1. Can Cicadas See?
  2. Do cicadas pee?
  3. Do cicadas stink?
  4. How many types of cicadas are there?
  5. How to tell if a Cicada is a Male or Female?
  6. Is there such thing as an albino cicada?
  7. Why do some cicadas have shriveled up or damaged wings?
  8. What is the largest cicada?

Cicada Sounds, Singing, “Noise”

  1. Do cicadas sing at night?
  2. How do cicadas make sounds / noise?
  3. What cicada is the loudest?
  4. When do cicadas sing?

Cicada Behavior

  1. Do cicadas bite or sting?
  2. What do cicadas do?
  3. Are cicadas attracted to the sound of lawnmowers and other machinery?
  4. How long do cicadas live?
  5. What do Cicadas Eat?
  6. What is the purpose of cicadas?
  7. Where do cicadas live?

Cicada Predators aka What Eats Cicadas

  1. 10 Facts about Cicada Killer Wasps
  2. Can pets or other animals sense cicadas below ground?
  3. What Eats Cicadas?

Studying or Observing Cicadas

  1. How do I photograph cicadas at night?
  2. Is it possible to raise cicadas?
  3. Keeping cicadas for a short period of time
  4. Where can I buy cicadas online?

Human / Cicada Interaction

  1. Are cicadas safe to eat?
  2. How do you pronounce Cicada?
  3. How to say in different languages?
  4. What do cicadas symbolize?
  5. What is the root of the word cicada?
  6. What Might Cause Cicadas to go Extinct?

17 & 13 Year / Magicicada / Periodical / “Locusts”:

  1. What are the black spots on the back of a Magicicada cicada?
  2. Can you see letters like W & P on a cicada’s wings?
  3. Did Someone Offer a Reward for White or Blue-eyed Cicadas?
  4. How Long Does a Periodical Cicada Emergence Last?
  5. What are Broods?
  6. What are Stragglers?
  7. What is Predator Satiation?
  8. Are cicadas locusts?
  9. Which fungus attacks Magicicadas?
  10. Why do Magicicada stay underground for 13 or 17 years?

About Cicada Mania

  1. About Cicada Mania
  2. Email:


  1. Amy says:

    I notice the map contains areas or counties that will not see cicadas, how can that be pinpointed? Surely a cicada doesn’t see county boundaries?
    Also, how do they feel about laying eggs in young magnolia trees?

    1. Dan says:

      The way it works is cicada researchers only have so much time and energy, so they focus on the county instead of towns neighborhoods or specific locations. In the 21st century, researchers have computers to help track cicadas at a granular level, so there’s less of a focus on counties. Yes, cicadas don’t know about borders, but the researchers who collect information about them do.

      Not sure about Magnolias. If you can find a magnolia on a neighbor’s yard or in a park, look for bumpy scars from the last emergence. That is a sign that those trees typically survive. If you’re cautious, you could put netting on the tree, or just pick the female cicadas off by hand like grapes.

      1. Amy says:

        Thanks for your response. I’m hedging my bets and have already made nets for my younger trees, peaches and dogwood and ornamental cherry which have smaller branches. Will net my magnolias as they too are young. In addition I’ve done my blueberries and raspberries since I’ve heard they like berry bushes. The last time I dealt with cicadas emerging was in VA and they destroyed my young dogwoods and peaches.

        1. Dan Hayes says:

          But why is there a sharp demarcation between Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana right at the political border? The Wabash does demarcate the two states, but that’s just in the Southwest part of Indiana. And, why are they JUST in the Northern border of Indiana and NOT in Michigan?

          1. Dan says:

            I don’t know. That’s just how they were/are. The brood seems to have died off in Michigan and is contracting in Indiana.
            Check out the newer map on the UConn website. In Indiana the Brood now seems to be west of 421.

  2. Dennis Brickle says:

    Here in Macon,Ga, Bibb County we have been seeing a few of them and hearing the Cicada Chorus grow louder each day. It seems to be coming from the southwest and started about a week ago. We watch them from our deck as they fly-crash dive into our walls and windows. How acute is their vision? Also they tolerate being touched. They are very handsome bugs with their golden wings and red eyes. Viva la Cicada.

  3. Dave Siteman says:

    I find cicada’s fascinating. This site has been an incredible resource of information as I trying to learn more about this marvelous insects.

    1. Dan says:

      Thanks for visiting!

  4. Justus Smith says:

    I live in Central Canada and have never seen Cicadas before and the Double Brood emergence this year (2024) caught my attention. I’d like to do some Cicada Tourism and was thinking of heading to Illinois, possibly around the Springfield area toward the end of May as that seemed like it might get inundated if the 2 broods both come up around that area… but I guess they may not actually overlap so I’m wondering is there a better place to go/see them? I want to make it a memorable experience and want to go where they are seemingly apocalyptic in number just swarming everywhere. What place(s) should I consider?

    1. Dan says:

      Speaking from personal experience, the Lake County Forest Preserve outside of Chicago offers an excellent Brood XIII experience, though I would shoot toward the first week of June for that location.

  5. Michael Nichols-Crowell says:

    I apologize in advance if this has been asked before.
    I grew up in Lubbock, Texas, and when I was a kid (late 70s? or early 80s?), there was an enormous emergence of cicadas. They covered the trunks of every tree in town. Every kid on my block had jars full of them.
    And it hasn’t happened since then. Every year, I find 3 or 4 shells on trees or fences, and I hear a few in the trees, but they’ve never emerged in anywhere near the numbers as that one summer of my childhood. In fact, if I added up all of the cicadas I’ve seen/heard in all of the other years of my life, it would only be a tiny fraction of that single emergence.
    I never understood this. I figured all of those millions of adult cicadas must’ve laid millions of eggs.
    What happened?

    1. Dan says:

      Do you remember what they looked like? Sometimes cicadas like Diceroprocta apache (Davis, 1921) aka Citrus Cicada have bumper years.

    2. Corbitt says:

      I want to visit IL during the 2024 emergence. Can a cicada expert tell me where there may be an overlap of the 13 and 17-year broods? If so, we hope to experience maximum pestilence! Thank you

      1. Dan says:

        There’s no overlap, but they come within 10 miles in the Springfield, Illinois area. Brood XIII is to the north-west of Springfield, and Brood XIX is to the south east.

  6. Grace says:

    I was hoping you could tell me why male cicadas have large plate-like opercula and females don’t? I can’t find a clear answer online! Thank you!

    1. Dan says:

      It helps to preserve their hearing.

  7. Cindy Bell says:

    I’ve got a few cicada pics that I don’t see on your website. I would send them to you if you’d like to add them.

    1. Dan says:

      Sure! You can email them to

  8. ren says:

    Sorry if this is a silly question, but is there a way to determine what species a cicada is exclusively from its exuvia? im too short to catch any actual cicadas even with my Very Long Bug Catching Net, so I’d like to categorize the exuvia i find on my iNaturalist, while correctly identifying the insect that left it.

    1. Dan says:

      There are tips and tricks, based on location, shape, size, and dark markings.

  9. Rick Destree says:

    06/01/2023 11:25 AM 68 degrees F. sunny
    I just heard at least one Periodical Cicada in the woods on our property. Our coordinates are 34.96286° N, 84.03556° W seven miles north of Blairsville, Georgia. I also have a brief sound recording of its song.

  10. Debbie Todd says:

    A friend is thinking of buying a laser device with a laser beam that he says stops cicadas from making a noise. I’m worried that this will harm the cicadas, but he reassures me that it doesn’t do any damage to the creatures, it just makes them stop making a noise. Does anybody know if lasers will hurt the cicadas.

  11. Peter says:

    I was thrilled to find and photograph both sexes of all three species during this emergence of Brood X. Locating members of M. septendecula was by far the most difficult, which led me to wonder about the distribution by species. Are there more septendecims and cassiniis than septendeculas? Are all three species distributed equally across Brood X’s range or do they vary by location? Do they occupy different habitats?

  12. giada farina says:


  13. Nelson says:

    In my pictures the red compound eyes have a black spot. The black spot always faces the camera, no matter the angle to the cicada. is the black spot just a visual artifact of the compound eyes? Perhaps little light is returning from the “tubes” facing the camera. Thanks for all the info.

    1. Dan says:

      Yeah. You’re looking down into the compound eye, so it looks black.

  14. Troy says:

    As an Aussie who would love to see this natural phenomenon, what would be the best brood to plan to come see in the future, and in what state would I find it best to view them?

    1. Dan says:

      Brood XIV & XIX emerge at the same time in 2024 — giving you plenty of options (21 states). Brood XIII emerges in 3 years in the Chicago area.

  15. lynn faust says:

    We have had loud chorusing for the past 3 days here in East Tennessee. It stretches Non-Stop for several miles through our Woods. But I am curious. We have a giant elm tree where hundreds Cassini and septendecim emerged at the base over a period of the last 3 weeks. But that tree is silent. Do the adult male cicadas perhaps fly up to a quarter mile away to join other chorusing in other trees? Thank you

    1. Dan says:

      Yes, they will go to other chorusing cicadas.

    2. lynn faust says:

      Thank you so much for your helpful answer. I have one more question. They have now been coming out for almost 4 weeks. What I have Loosely noticed is that many of the newly emerged adults I am seeing in the past two days are female. Is there protandry in periodical cicadas? thanks

  16. Maria Daniels says:

    Will this year’s cicada emergence be in Union County, NJ ? If so, what is the predicted time frame?

  17. John says:

    Question for you Cicadamaniacs: We have many emerging from Brood X here in Maryland, molting, climbing trees and feeding. But no sound yet. Is there a different emerging timing for the males or a period of maturation that needs to take place before we start to hear the cacophony? They started emerging on May 16th here. Just seems too quite!


    1. Dan says:

      It takes many days for their bodies to fully harden enough for their tymbals to be rigid enough to vibrate and sing. They also want a lot of their brothers to be around so they can form a chorus. Just wait — things are going to get crazy loud soon enough.

  18. Tobi says:

    It’s about high 70’s mid 80s in Maryland how long until the emergence gets really bad? I’ve started seeing many cicadas on trees in my yard, how many days until they start swarming?

    1. Dan says:

      Technically they don’t swarm. They fly around and make annoying sounds. I’d say the crazy starts next week.

      1. Tobi says:

        Thank you. I have really bad anxiety with these special insects and I’m just tying to gauge how much time I have to relocate to less cicada populated area by next week

    2. Juniper55 says:

      Hi Tobi, they’re starting to fly here in Montgomery County today. I started seeing winged adults emerge a couple days ago.

      1. Tobi says:

        Hi Juniper55,

        I appreciate your update and hope for many more. I have seen few crawling and one flying, with many sitting on tree stalks and exoskeletons on the ground.

        I’d love more updates on what’s going on in your area. I hope to relocate before the large emergence begins

  19. Grace says:

    Will brood x cicadas hit Philadelphia this year? If so how bad?

    1. Dan says:

      It doesn’t look like it.

  20. Gregory Wojnar says:

    What is the estimated total population of Brood X in 2021?

    1. Dan says:

      Max 1 million per acre. These days it’s probably less, like 10,000 due to construction and pesticides.

  21. Tobi says:

    Will cicadas be in Bryn Marw Pennsylvania this year?? Cicadas give me severe anxiety and I’m looking for somewhere to shelter from the large emergence occurring in Maryland before things get too crazy over here. Also once they climb into the tree how long until the cicadas start flying everywhere!

  22. Sarah says:

    Trying to figure out the kind I found just chillin’ next to my head on my couch once in the Mississippi delta (SE Arkansas) a few years ago. I’d only ever seen the inch or so long molted shells of a cicada and not the actual insect before, so I thought it was some demon bug there to kill me. I remember darker green/brown tones, but he was HUGE. At least an inch wide and a couple or more long and it’s wings weren’t much longer than it’s body, if any. Ideas?

  23. Sharon Hadley says:

    How many cicadas typically emerge from a single tunnel? Is it one cicada per tunnel?

    1. Dan says:

      Usually one per tunnel, but sometimes the tunnels intersect or merge and they end up emerging from the same hole.

  24. Rhonda says:

    Will cicadas be in Busch gardens the week of May 27th

    1. Dan says:

      No cicadas for Busch Gardens.

  25. janet jeffers says:


  26. Karl Gardner says:

    Possible typo. In the “Identification Tips” on page it says “It lacks the orange color between the eyes that M. septendecim has.” Should it say behind the eyes? The photo at the top of the septendecim page has red behind the eyes and none between the eyes. FANTASTIC SITE! I learned a lot. If actually a typo, please fix and delete this comment.

    1. Dan says:

      True, it should be between the eye and wing insertion point.

  27. Patrick Morris says:

    Today is 3/22/21. We cut down two large trees in our back yard in August 2019, and another smaller pine tree in the early summer of 2020. We live in Maryland, cicada ground zero. Did we kill a whole bunch of nymphs by cutting down the trees? I’m a cicada fan, and fear we committed mass cicadas murder.

    1. Dan says:

      Maybeeeeee…. sometimes they’re able to find other roots to feed from.

  28. Eileen Tobin says:

    Hello, I’m wondering if there are local cicada organizations that I could contact when Brood X hatches this spring and they become numerous and wonderfully LOUD. I lived in western New Jersey in 1987 and experienced that hatch and was totally blown away. We unfortunately moved to Colorado in 2000 and I have been longing to experience another hatch. 2021 is my last chance, I’m 68 years old! I have a friend in Northampton Pa. I can stay with but I need somebody on the ground in that general area who will be tuned in and can give me info. I will drop everything and fly for cicadas! Thank you!

    1. Dan says:

      One idea is to use the Cicada Safari app to see where people are finding them. I’ll keep this page updated as well.

      They’ll be south around Allentown, PA. And plenty across the river in NJ in Hunterdon, NJ.

      Princeton, NJ should be great for cicadas.

  29. Why isn’t cicadas not reported for Southern Indiana and Kentucky. They are loud at night I can’t even think.
    Also do know where they are?

  30. Mark says:

    I’m having problems finding information about the white fungus that is on the underside of the dog day cicada here in Chicago. Can you explain what that is or do you have a reference? I’m not sure if it’s the same fungus that attacks the periodic’s, it definitely affects them differently if it is. Thank you, Mark

    1. Dan says:

      Mark, if you mean the white powdery substance, that’s called pruinosus which is a natural waxy coating.

      Either way, send a photo to so I can diagnose. Thanks!

      1. Mark says:

        Dan, I don’t have a photo of one but the white substance is on the whole underside of the dog there cicadas here in Chicago. Is that a fungus or is that the coating you mentioned in the last email. Thank you for the quick reply. Mark

        1. Dan says:

          It’s pruinose — a naturally occurring, waxy coating produced by the insect itself. pruinose comes from the Latin word for frost.

  31. Rodrigo Torres N. says:

    Aquí en Colombia en los cerros orientales de la capital, Bogotá, y durante la noche muy fría ( 15 de julio a las 9:55 PM), esta cigarra, chocó con el vidrio transparente de la ventana del piso 9, mientras emitía un sonido particular. Les estoy enviando algunas fotografías que espero les permitan identificar la especie y agregar cualquier otro comentario

    A la espera de sus valiosos mensajes


    Rodrigo Torres N.
    Biólogo, M.Sc.

  32. Mark says:

    Sorry for the typos in my previous email, meant to say that some have Emerged 4 years early as you know. Why do stragglers do this, is there a good explanation? M

    1. Dan says:

      @Mark, read this FAQ and start from there.

  33. mark says:

    We are currently experiencing the early emergence of the 17 year cicadas here in Chicago. As you know summer out for years early right now and seeing quite loudly. Do you have an explanation as to why there are stragglers that emerge early? Thank you, Mark

  34. Duke Hayduk says:

    About a week ago here in Eldorado, New Mexico, my dog started feeding voraciously on cicadas in plants near the ground. I collected a single sample and have not been able to identify it by looking at online photos. A possible assist in ID’ing it is that I believe they are making clicking, not buzzing, sounds in all the trees Red eyes, distinctive yellow pattern on the top of the back. Sometimes, I swear they’re clicking in unison, like a bunch of drummers hammering out a rhythm.

    Any help in identifying this large-seeming population?

    1. Patrick Alexander says:

      Likely Platypedia putnami.

  35. Rich says:

    Belle Vernon got hammered 17 years ago. It was awesome

Leave a comment. Questions about plants or snakes are deleted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cicada T-shirts

We use cookies on to provide you with an excellent user experience.
We will assume that you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy if you continue accessing our site.