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July 5, 2015

Are cicadas attracted to the sound of lawnmowers and other machinery?

Filed under: Behavior | FAQs | Magicicada — Dan @ 7:41 am

Cicadas on Man Are cicadas attracted to the sound of lawnmowers and other machinery? Yes! Cicadas, particularly Magicicada periodical cicadas, are attracted to lawnmowers, weed-whackers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, power drills, etc. If it is loud and vibrates, cicadas will be attracted to it. Why? Most likely because they think your tool is a particularly impressive periodical cicada chorusing center, so males want to join in with the chorus and females want to mate with the particularly impressive males.

So, next time you’ve got the old angle grinder out, don’t be surprised if a cicada lands on your shoulder.


  1. Weebeedivin says:

    Brood X are in full swing in the panhandle of WV. While pressure washing the boat they were swarming and landing all over me. Once I powered off the machine not a single cicada bothered me. Definitely attracted to noise and vibrations.

  2. Sally says:

    We haven’t seen any yet in the south eastern part of west va

    1. Dan says:

      They’re in the part of WV that is directly south of Maryland.

  3. Michael Heary says:

    Greetings from Lauderdale Florida. Here at my home shop when I’m using my angle grinder outside one come and lands on the grinder or on my shoulder. Glad to know I’m not the only one!
    Thanks for the article.

  4. Jim Johnson says:

    I attract cicadas when I play my bagpipes outdoors.

  5. david emery says:

    Great stuff Dan- our guys are also stimulated by the lawn mowers!

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