Cicada Mania

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June 4, 2013

Stop the killing of cicadas! Help us fight back.

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | News | Periodical — Dan @ 5:18 am

Stop the killing of cicadas! Help us fight back!

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John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN let me know that The Home Depot has large Ortho stands that advocate the destruction of periodical cicadas. Here is his tweet on the topic.

I went to Lowes to check there as well and they had Sevin brand pesticides with hangtags that specifically mention cicadas. When I saw that in person it took all my willpower not to flip out and make a scene.

How can we stop these companies from advocating the destruction of cicadas? We can call, Tweet, and leave posts on their Facebook pages.

Call your local store and demand they remove signage that advocates the destruction of cicadas. Go to their websites, find their contact us pages, and call and email them.

If you see such displays in other stores, let them know how you feel as well. I will personally boycott these stores and sell any stock I have related to them.

Reasons why destroying cicadas is ridiculous:

Cicadas @ UCONN has a periodical cicada FAQ that features compelling reasons not to destroy these animals.

Here are my reasons:

  1. How often does an event occur that is as strange, sublime, and fascinating as a periodical cicada emergence? Very rarely. Maybe when a comet arrives. Four or five times in a lifetime, at most.
  2. You don’t want to rob future generations of the experience of a periodical cicada emergence, do you? You want your grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to experience these amazing creatures.
  3. Urbanization and other stresses are already shrinking Magicicada broods. Why accelerate their demise? Do you want the periodical cicadas to have the same fate as the dodo or passenger pigeon?
  4. It’s unpatriotic to kill periodical cicadas. Why? They’re only located in the U.S.A. They should be the official insect of the United States of America.
  5. Pesticides can cause collateral damage to other insect species like honey bees. Like to eat fruit? How about honey? Well, good luck if you help contribute to the acceleration of the death of honey bees. Read more about this topic. I think it would be ironic if a farmer sprayed to kill cicadas, but killed the pollinating insects as well.
  6. Can cicadas damage or kill small and fruiting trees? I’ve never seen it happen, but it is possible. Did you know that you can net these trees instead of drenching your neighborhood with pesticides? You can. The Magicicada FAQ has a picture of the netting.
  7. Pets and people love to eat cicadas. Do you want to poison your pets and kids when they eat a cicada treated with pesticide? I hope not.
  8. Probably the worst part about a periodical cicada emergence is cleaning up their rotting corpses. If The Home Depot and Lowes were smart, they would be selling Shop Vacs instead of chemicals.
  9. Using pesticides won’t help reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning them up. The corpses will pile up either way.
  10. Cicadas don’t eat fruit and vegetables. Unlike other insects, cicadas lack the mouthparts to chew vegetable matter. Unlike a caterpillar or grasshopper, they won’t eat your tomatoes or other garden vegetables.

I can go on and on…

Please help. Use social media to voice your disgust. Call your local store to ask them to take down anti-cicada signage.


  1. Padraig says:

    Cicadas kill pine trees and pinion trees on my property. Last year they came out by the millions and killed 20+ trees on my property. I kill as many as I can…unless you take them into your house.

    1. Dan says:

      Where are you located? Washington?

  2. Shirl says:

    Hey everybody! I think we should gather as many Cicadas as we can and take them all to this guy’s house! Do ya think he’d like them so much then? My backyard is infested.

  3. Raven says:

    They come every year in my area and it kills me when our dog brings them in cause I get to hear the loud sound all night! Are you sure they’re rare

  4. Rhiannon says:

    Well the cicada can and do destroy young fruit trees. The problem is not that they eat the leaves. The female carves a slit in the branches and possibly the trunk if it is less than a 1/2 inch when laying her eggs. The nymphs then travel down and attach to the tree roots until re-emerging robbing the tree of nutrients. In the end the tree dies. HMM I guess everyone want us to not feed our families in favor of an insect that only comes out every 13 to 17 years.

    1. Dan says:

      Cicadas can damage or destroy fruiting trees. Orchards are aware of this, and will take measures against cicadas and other insects to ensure they have the maximum crop yield. Don’t worry, Monstanto, Bayer and SMG will make plenty of profits.

      Cicadas were here in North America, and man brought fruiting plants here to the cicada’s habitat. Fruit trees have not evolved to deal with cicadas, and so they won’t fare as well as a maple or oak. Apples and peaches originated in Asia. Unlike a locust (which is a grasshopper) cicadas don’t travel long distances, moving from orchard to orchard destroying trees — people put the trees in the cicadas habitat.

      I would not worry about periodical cicadas destroying the American food supply. I’m pretty sure no family will starve if they don’t get apples. Most apples are produced in China anyway (

      The purpose of this article is to encourage the average American consumer to not destroy their local cicada populations out of fear or ignorance.

  5. Deb says:

    We just moved into a home this year and our yard is infested with thousands upon thousands of cicadas. I am a prisoner in my own home. Unless your personal space has been invaded by these insects, don’the judge those of us who want them gone.

  6. big bossman says:

    I seriously doubt cicadas will ever become endagered or extinct.
    They were everywhere in my town in 2004.
    When they come out, they do so in such massive numbers that they overwhelm any predators. My town has plenty of large trees that they live off of before coming above ground.

    1. Dan says:

      You might think that, but a brood of these cicadas went extinct as recently as 1954.

  7. Chris Simon says:

    Thanks so much Dan for your wonderful page on preventing the destruction of cicadas and for all of your work publicizing cicada biology! Cicadamania is great! I am going to contact all of the reporters who contacted me and ask them to do a story on the problem with Lowes and and Home Depot.

  8. Barb says:

    Cicadas are fascinating – and harmless! Heaven knows they have enough natural predators trying to eliminate them – let them live their brief existence above ground in peace.

  9. zasdman says:

    Just thought I would point out that Ehrlich is educating… and explicitly saying

    “There is no need to treat for cicadas
    They do not damage or invade homes and buildings. Also, cicadas are not venomous and do not transmit disease.”

  10. Tod Winston says:

    I just posted a complaint on the Home Depot and Lowes Facebook pages. Despicable.

  11. Diane says:

    I used to think that cicadas were scary and gross, but now that I’m older (52), I realize how amazing and magical these insects are…thanks in part to this site dedicated to them, which I just discovered this year. Cicadas have only a brief time in the sun after so many years underground, and they deserve to live. I’m appalled that companies are advocating killing these harmless, fascinating creatures who deserve our respect and admiration. Even when I wasn’t a cicada fan like I am now, I never killed them, I just stayed out of their way. It will be a sad day when there are no more cicadas, and I hope that day never comes. We need to do whatever we can to preserve cicadas…they already have an uphill battle because of humans destroying so much of their habitat. I vote for cicadas to be our national insect! STOP KILLING CICADAS…LET THEM LIVE!!!

  12. Jonathan Huang says:

    These cicadas are underground for 17 years, and have the time of their life which is a mere 2 months or less. They want to enjoy this very brief life in the nature, stop killing them! I feel sad when i see people killing them, They are harmless and they just want to enjoy life. Think about it. 17 yrs underground, 2 months to enjoy the outside. STOP KIKLING THEM. PLEASE.

  13. Bob Sinclair says:

    Posted the following 6/5 to the Home Depot Facebook page:
    Periodical Cicadas are HARMLESS. Adults can’t eat or bite, and they don’t damage trees or foliage. Please stop marketing their poisoning!

    and got back the following:
    The Home Depot – Bob, we really value your feedback on this topic. I want you to know that I’ve shared your post with our merchandising team. -Blake

    Hope it helps…

  14. joey says: <- Ortho's parent company's twitter

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