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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Fornal

Cicadas in 2021

Brood X, which kind of sounds like a band name (and maybe that isn’t too far from the truth if you dive into the song science as explained by UCONN here), is due to make its debut in May-June 2021. You may have heard a lot of buzz already about the noisy batch, which emerge from the ground only once every 17 years.

Not every state will witness this event; Wisconsin won’t see the emergence of cicadas until 2024 when Brood XIII will surface. This brood has a reputation for being the largest emergence of cicadas known anywhere.

Cicadas are large, flying insects, who are well known for their loud buzzing sound, which is produced by the males in order to attract female mates. After 17 or 13 years sucking on sap of tree roots and developing underground, they will come to the surface for a month to molt, copulate and lay eggs. They are capable of producing between 400-600 eggs each. The adult will then die off and their offspring will burrow into the soil and start the 13-17 year cycle again.

Cicadas can cause minimal damage to trees due to feeding during their emergence period, but are otherwise harmless and do not bite.

If you want to see the map, more facts, or to see how you can help map the emergence of cicadas (there’s an app for that!) check out Cicada Safari.

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