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June 18, 2014

Brood III, The Iowan Brood, Will Emerge in 2014

Filed under: Brood III | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 1:03 am

Brood III will next emerge in 2031.

This page was last updated in 2014.

Magicicada Brood III (3), the Iowan Brood, will emerge in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, in the spring of 2014.

Update for 6/18: It has been great to see so many people are enjoying the emergence. I bolded the names of the counties below, where people have reported emergences in the comments.

Update for 5/31: Cicadas have been reported in Dallas, Union, and Warren counties in Iowa, and Mercer County in Missouri.

Update for 5/30: Greg Holmes reported on the Entomological-Cicadidae Yahoo Group that Donald Lewis, entomologist at Iowa State University, has a report of periodical cicadas from north of Burlington, IA. With air temperatures in the mid 80s for the next 6 days, the soil should be warm enough to coax more cicadas from the ground. Rain may slow the emergence, though.

Some Brood III facts:

  • Brood III Magicicadas have a 17-year life cycle.
  • The last time Brood III emerged was 1997.
  • All three 17-year species will emerge: M. septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula.

Looking a the Cicada Central Magicicada Database:

  • Iowa will likely experience Brood III in Appanoose, Boone, Decatur, Des Moines, Hamilton, Henry, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Mahaska, Van Buren, Washington counties.
  • There are literature records (typically older, and not substantiated by recent evidence) that the cicadas will also emerge in the counties: Adair, Adams, Audubon, Cass, Cedar, Davis, Greene, Guthrie, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren, Wayne and Webster.
  • Plus reports from Clarke, Dallas County!
  • Missouri literature records: Adair, Harrison, Harrison, Henry, Johnson, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Platte, Putnam,Vernon
  • Illinois: Adams, Brown, Cass, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Peoria, Pike, Schuyler, Warren, and maybe (literature records) Champaign, Greene, and Mason.

1907 Map from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

Marlatt 1907 03 Brood III


  1. Ellen Dickman says:

    I live in a small desert village, Borrego Spring, CA. At dusk last eve in a eucalyptus tree outside of our tiny post office, the cicada songs were nearly deafening outside our small post office. I loved it as it brought back memories from childhood. Grew up on a farm Iowa. I enjoyed your informative site.

  2. Greg Holmes says:

    I received a photo and a reliable report that some M cassini were still alive on July 10, 2014 at Camp Mitigwa, south of Ledges State Park, Iowa. Although my source (a police officer with whom I networked while in Iowa) said there are many dead cicadas around, I found it a bit surprising there were any alive at all this far into July.

  3. Janet Shinn says:

    I live in rural Marion county, for the last three weeks the cidcades have been very noisy and lots of them, they seem to be eating certain plants in my garden like zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, also my hostas and zinnas. Is there any thing I can do to stop them from destroying my plants?

    1. Dan says:

      These cicadas don’t have chewing mouthparts, so they won’t eat your veggies. They will climb all over them though. They can be removed with a garden hose.

  4. Greg Holmes says:

    Alan, I just left SW Iowa today after finishing gathering data points in the corner of the brood from I-35 in Missouri just north of Bethany to Hwy 2 at Mt Ayr. Cassini was by far the dominant sound with weak to very occasionally strong choruses within that area. I heard almost no septendecim or septendecula. That’s quite a change from when I was in south central and SE Iowa on the 18th, 19th and 20th, at which time septendecim was strong. This was my third Brood III trip this month but I didn’t go near Iowa City since I was only concerned with helping map the south edges of the brood and the SW part to see if it overlaps Brood IV next year. The areas closest to Iowa city where I saw dense concentrations eleven days ago were Shimek State Park and Fort Madison’s Rodeo Park but I’m sure you can find a Magicicada fix closer than that. Please let us know what you find.

  5. Alan Boyle says:

    I’ve just landed in Iowa City and am looking for some cicada action … Anything still happening? I’d love to take a drive to hear something.

  6. sherrie says:

    I live in the country between menlo and stuart iowa,and i have thousands of these loud annoying insects here,i would like to know how long they will be here,they have already been here for 2 weeks,they are driving me crazy..You cant even be outside without having them all over you and the noise is so loud they sound like they are in my house…..When will they be gone?????

    1. Dan says:

      Soon enough Sherrie. They usually finish up within a 3 to 4 week period.

  7. Caree says:

    6/23/14 They are thick along the DSM river in Boone County, Iowa. Careful because the river is flooding but you can drive near the river and get out and hear them.
    Also Jester park near Granger cicadas are thick.

  8. Joseph says:

    Started hearing them early part of last week after Father’s day. Collected some from my apple tree yesterday the 21st here in McDonough Co.,IL. There seems to be more of them now as we hit the upper 80’s temp the last few days.

  9. jen strong says:

    Still going strong here in Wapello Co.(Ottumwa)!

  10. Jon says:

    They are all over backyard today 2014/06/21 in Knoxville, IA (Marion County). Just notices them. If they were out last week did not notice them. Kids are having fun catching them.

  11. Shawn says:

    We live in Wayne county IA.The cicadas started to emerge on our place about a week ago.We really enjoy their singing every year.My kids,as small children, used to gather the husks and play with them.When my daughter left home I was cleaning her room and found a small box under her bed.In it was a snake skin shed,a few small rocks and a sandwich bag of the cicada husks that she collected.She is now the mother of 3 children and is teaching her children to love nature as she does and to appreciate every aspect of it.

  12. Kim says:

    We live in Western Dallas County and the cicadas started to emerge 6 June. This is a great experience for us. We live out in the country with few trees, so do not have the numbers we have seen and heard in towns where there are more trees.

    We are trying to see which birds are eating them. The Western Meadowlarks were feeding to their fresh-from-the-nest young earlier today. Some birds pull off legs, wings and/or heads before feeding bugs to their nestlings. Could this be why Deborah is seeing pieces of the cicadas?

    1. Dan says:

      That sounds like a good reason to me. The wings and other parts, like the ovipositor can be hard, and could choke fledgelings.

  13. Deborah says:

    I live in Keokuk County Iowa and my yard is alive with cicadas! I have spent the better part of at least an hour walking my yard and snapping photos. The hum that greeted me this morning and, now, the traditional cicada song has been a phenomenal experience. I wish you were here to experience it. They are hanging from the leaves in the maple, elm and apple trees. I was buzzed by ones flying through the air…one even alighted on my hand and another on the camera strap. It is impossible to take a step without seeing one…or two…or three.

    I began to notice something different over the weekend when I was spotting single wings which I started to collect. Then over the next days, I noticed half bodies and body parts with wings still attached. Finally, today I knew I was missing something that I needed to know.

  14. jeremie hinkle says:

    I have them in my yard this weekend in henry
    county iowa

  15. Janet says:

    I am in northern Warren County and they are driving me nuts. My pool basket was about 3 inches thick. I had to wear a hat to clean out the pool because they kept dive bombing me. The noise is out of this world. When will they go away????

    1. Dan says:

      They’ll be gone in 2 to 3 weeks. Once they use up their energy mating, they start to die.

      If you use power tools, like a vacuum, to clean your pool basket, they might dive bomb you.

  16. Lori Reeves says:

    There are thousands in Wapello County and Ottumwa, IA. You can look toward any bushes/trees and see swarms on the foliage and in the air. The storm last night killed thousands but I had really seen any significant numbers of dead ones before that. In the parking lot where I work this morning was covered like a battle field. The sound is deafening from about 9am-1pm.

  17. Lori Leverton says:

    I cannot hardly stand these. I am in Schuyler County Illinois. My pool basket is overflowing. THey are getting in my house, my bathroom . There are hundreds on the porch deck. The trees are literally covered. They are everywhere and have been here a couple weeks now. Last night was the worset. THey started coming in the kitchen through the screens.

  18. Chuck de Vries says:

    It is June 15, 2014. They have been here in the Pella, Ia area for 5 days already. There are thousands of them approx. 20 feet from our house in the trees. The sound gets extremely loud around 5p.m. You can hear them over the engine of the lawn mower.

    1. Dan says:

      Sometimes they fly after lawn mowers because the sound of movers, and other machines, reminds them of singing males.

  19. Wendy Frost says:

    When can we expect the cicada to leave Winterset Iowa. It can’t be soon enough.

    1. Dan says:

      A couple of weeks. Once they’re done mating, they die off.

  20. Greg Holmes says:

    I heard all three species on June 12 at Ledges State Park in Iowa. There were many tenerals, indicating a mass emergence the night of June 11. Most were female. I saw no massospora-affected cicadas.

  21. Denise Holt says:

    The lilac bushes and trees in my mother’s front yard are COVERED with these. They are everywhere! Her house is in rural Clarke County along Highway 69. The noise was deafening. I will go back tomorrow and try to take some pictures.

  22. Jim Jenkins says:

    They began emerging in my Monroe County acreage on Sunday the 8th of June. They hit the maples first, and the sugar maple the first of all. Gradually over the next few days they spread to all of the trees — by the thousands, if not tens of thousands. As the week went on, their population increased.

    Initially, the birds avoided them. Then we noticed that the red-wing blackbirds were fighting over them; the other varieties seemed to have noticed that too, and before long all varieties were consuming them. Enough so that it pulled the robins away from my cherry tree (getting old and not producing as well as it did when it was younger) enough that yesterday I was able to pick about 8 quarts for the first time since before the drought. In years past, the birds moved in and stripped the tree before I tumbled to the fact that they were ready to clean me out. And one year they cleaned me completely even eating those cherries not yet ripe in addition to those which were, especially when aided by a roving band of migrating cedar waxwings. But this year, fortunately for me, the cicadas’ are satisfying their food needs.

    The cicadas’ are beginning to die. I first noticed that on the 12th of June, and there are even more today. I see thousands of corpses all over the grass, driveway, and roof of my house. It is not the husks left after they molt, but the whole insect lying dead on the ground. Not in sufficient enough numbers yet that the noise which they create has perceptibly diminished.

  23. Denise L says:

    We were treated to a deafening chorus of them while we pulled garlic mustard in the woods by Birmingham, Iowa today.
    We saw them everywhere.
    I got lots of pictures.

  24. Dustin K says:

    We live in a suburb near Ft. Worth (Hurst), and found our first Cicada today (6/10/14). Haven’t heard them yet, but found the evidence.

  25. Dave Fuentes says:

    If anyone knows of Illinois towns that are experiencing this, please let me know! Specifically a landmark being affected that I can set my GPS to. I live in the south suburbs of Chicago and our next invasion isn’t due until 2024. I really love seeing this amazing natural occurance and would sure hate to wait another decade. If anyone knows anything, please feel free to email me at Thanks!

    1. Dan says:

      If you don’t mind driving a couple hours, Dave, there are Brood III cicadas emerging in western Illinois.

  26. Paul says:

    The 17-year cicadas are definitely in Polk County Iowa. They everywhere in portions of the west part of Des Moines – espcially the old oak tree neighborhoods in the Waterbury Area and south of Grand Avenue around Ashworth Park.

  27. Tom Noteboom says:

    West side of saylorville lake around the oak tree in our yard are thousands with black head and orange eyes.

  28. Darla Wilson says:

    I live outside Montezuma, Iowa in Poweshiek County, at Lake Ponderosa. They are everywhere, thousands upon thousands. This is absolutely fascinating from the holes in the ground, to the exoskeletons to the adults climbing everywhere with their CLAWS, to the constant loud buzz going on from their mating calls. I do not ever remember seeing this many before. Yesterday, June 6th was a prime day for viewing in this area of the state of Iowa.

  29. Dave says:

    Just Got Home From Camping At Cherry Glen Campground Near Saylorville Lake In Northern Polk County And The Trees Are Covered Not Very Noisy At The Moment.

  30. Kimberly says:

    We are camping at Geode State Park near Danville, Iowa and the cicadas are thick here. The base of every tree has a ring a foot wide around it.

  31. Marty says:

    I live in Dallas County in the town of Adel. They are emerging like crazy right now, and piles of dead adults, and molting casings everywhere! Last night(June 4, 2014) I went walking and they were like carpet on the sidewalks under some, but not all trees, but I hear no songs from them at all?

  32. Max Cook says:

    I live in Boone and starting to see lots emerging over the last couple of days.

  33. Marie says:

    Emerging by the thousands in Decatur County today. They started to emerge on the 31th of May.
    Today is the 5th day, and there are whole swarms of them in the trees and the noise is so loud it’s deaffening after being outside for more then 5 minutes. My ears are litterly ringing. Now that the weather has cleared, I need to gather a dozen or two and go Bass fishing. Bass and catfish just love them. I’d suggest everyone in the south-central counties in Iowa do the same. Happy Fishing everyone!
    I Have noticed one thing with these 17 yr. Cicadas, they don’t sing at night, only during the day. At least they won’t keep me awake at night.

  34. Gary says:

    They are emerging by the hundred in Monroe County Iowa

  35. Titan says:

    Eastern Mahaska Co. 50 Adult Cicadas spotted in the undergrowth, most are probably high in the trees. Still eerily quiet. It must take them some time to take it all in first before they cut loose with the singing. Raining right now. That’ll loosen up the soil for more to join the party.

  36. Pip Fisher says:

    I live in northern Polk County, close to the Des Moines River, and today discovered hundreds of shed exoskeletons and about a dozen cicadas.

  37. tim says:

    Stuart in Guthrie county. Cicadas by the hundreds last two days. Front porch, sidewalk, and large maple tree in my yard are covered

  38. Tony Jacobsen says:

    My sister lives on Lake Panorama (Guthrie County) and noted that they are all over her trees already. She is in for a big surprise.

  39. Titan says:

    Mahaska Co. IA. Friday May 30 Saw 10 molted skins on 2 trees. Heard nothing. I have a feeling when I get back to the same area this morning, things will have dramatically changed.

  40. Jerry says:

    June 1 in Winterset, Ia (Madison Co) Started before sunup and by afternoon there were literally thousands. Again today (June 2) but not quite as numerous, probably because it was about 5 degrees cooler.

  41. Yvonne says:

    I live in northern Warren county.We have seen hundreds of the cicadas in our trees and around our house and more are emerging daily.

  42. Sara says:

    I live in Madison county and they are out in full force this week!

  43. Merri Tingley says:

    We are having them in Fulton County, first noticed them Friday May 30, 2014

  44. T Henderson says:

    We have literally thousands of these creepy looking bugs all over our trees and the ground. We live in Wapello county, Iowa.

  45. DJ Christensen says:

    Lots hatching in my yard in Union County, Iowa

  46. NickiJ says:

    They are emerging in Mercer County Missouri right now. The trees are literally crawling with them. The shells are covering the ground.

  47. Colleen Theis says:

    Warren county, moats park has the 17 yr cicadas!!

  48. Sonya Ferguson says:

    The cicadas are emerging in Dallas county Iowa!

  49. Greg Holmes says:

    Sorry, my previous comment should have read April 28, not May 28.

  50. Julie Thrasher says:

    My family was camping at Jester Park on the west side of Saylorville Lake 17 years ago in mid June. Unbeknownst to us we camped near a very large oak tree full of the 17 year cicadas. We set up our lawn chairs under that majestic oak for shade as it was a very hot and humid day in June. Beginning around 4:00 pm, our conversations amongst ourselves could barely be heard without yelling at each other because of the sheer loudness of their mating calls. And we could have sworn the cicadas had us on their radar and were deliberately on a dive bombing mission to get us away from them. About 9:00 o’clock, all went silent and we were able to converse again without yelling. Later, after the storms rolled through and the tents repaired, (another story to be told) we all slept well, save for my brother, who all night long could hear the hum of a nearby cicada. Turns out that little fella found a cozy place under my brothers shirt collar and stayed the night.

  51. Greg Holmes says:

    I passed through Madison, Union and Ringgold counties in Iowa on the 28th of May and saw no exuvia (molted skins) on trees.

  52. Douglas says:

    My wife and I are planning a cicada collecting trip to southern Iowa. We hope our little friends cooperate with our best guess of June 8th through the 14th. We are locked on those dates; so, to those living in the area if you could please go outside and ask the subterranean hords to peak that week – we would really appreciate it. I am not sure of the buzz pattern to get that message across, but Google Translate might help. Cheers.

  53. Titan says:

    For Mahaska County Iowa, I’m thinking Mid June since it’s been such a long winter and cold spring. In 1997 there were still some flying around at July 4 but they were about done. In 1980 the peak was in June but I can’t remember the exact date.
    The turnout in 1980 was phenomenal.

  54. Sue says:

    We had these guys the last time so badly that we had to scoop up in wheelbarrow & bury. We truly dread the return because we have new small trees. We are presently looking for netting to cover the trees! Live in Shelby county in Illinois. After 6 months of cold weather we are really not happy to give up 2 weeks of outdoor living.

  55. For a good song about 17-year periodic cicada emergence (which is sort of like graduating from high school), go to Thanks.

  56. Michael Angelo Purcell says:

    Try Ledges State Park. The upper level parking lot or the Lost Lake trail are great places to see them. Both are high enough above the river in case of high flooding.
    Michael Angelo

  57. Michael Angelo Purcell says:

    I have been to 3 appearances over my life time and this will be my fourth. The spawning location is along the Des Moines river in Boone County Iowa. For this emergence I will be bringing my 8 year old son. I am hoping to get a more precise date. In years past it was the end of May and early June. If there are any entomologist in that area reading this please keep me posted. Thank you.

  58. Jenny says:

    Can anyone name some towns/cities that will have them in Iowa? Thanks!

  59. I’m curious as to projected date of the peak of the Brood III emergence in Iowa. I’d like to plan a visit but can’t find anything more exact than May-June. Is it possible to get an idea of a good week to visit?



    1. Dan says:

      I would guess June, and not May. They key is the weather, which is unpredictable these days. Once the temperature is around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, they start to stir and get ready to emerge. Then, once the temps are in the mid-to-high 70s they’ll start to emerge. If the temps hit the 80s, they’ll emerge for sure. A little rain helps as well. The trouble is temps vary from year to year, so it’s hard to pick a week.

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