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Fri Apr 2, 2021, 06:56 PM

What is Brood X? When do cicadas come out in 2021? Answering your buggiest questions.

Sometime this spring, billions of cicadas that have been underground since 2004 will emerge en masse and blanket parts of the Eastern United States with their song and, eventually, their carcasses.

If you’re in the right location, they will be impossible to ignore.

A true cicada census is impossible, but scientists expect that some places will have more than a million cicadas per acre, which could equate to more than 25 or 30 per square foot.

When do the cicadas come out in 2021?
That depends on the weather. This brood has been quietly rummaging around underground for the past 17 years and will not emerge until the soil temperature about a foot below ground reaches 64 degrees. Most will wait for a humid (but not stormy) evening to pop out of the tunnels they’ve been building for weeks.

They don’t all appear at once, but it may seem like it. . .

What is Brood X?
These cicadas are not the usual green ones that show up in some parts of the country every year.

Brood X — pronounced “Brood 10,” because cicada broods are labeled with Roman numerals — is one of the largest of 15 broods of periodical cicadas in the United States. (Three broods come out every 13 years and 12 come out every 17 years.) Three species make up Brood X, and they are known for their fire-engine-red eyes, their deafening choruses and their dramatic emergence every 17 years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/04/01/cicadas-come-out-2021-brood-x/?

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Reply What is Brood X? When do cicadas come out in 2021? Answering your buggiest questions. (Original post)
elleng Apr 2 OP
Blue Dawn Apr 2 #1
Blue Dawn Apr 2 #2
chia Apr 2 #3
Blue Dawn Apr 2 #4
chia Apr 2 #5
Blue Dawn Apr 2 #6
chia Apr 2 #7
Blue Dawn Apr 3 #10
chia Apr 3 #12
Blue Dawn Apr 4 #13
elleng Apr 2 #9
Blue Dawn Apr 3 #11
dugog55 Apr 2 #8

Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 07:16 PM

1. I keep waiting for them to show up here.

I live in the eastern part of Tennessee and I well remember their emergence when my son was a little guy in the 1980s. We lived in Nashville at that time. I can definitely believe that it’s possible there could be a million per acre. There were so many of them that we couldn’t walk to our cars without accidentally stepping on them on the sidewalk and driveway.

When we left our windows open in the house in the late afternoon to catch a nice breeze, the cicadas were so loud that it was hard to hear what we were saying!

I think they are fascinating. I remember reading that birds and animals will gorge themselves eating them because they are everywhere....and they apparently aren’t very fast-moving.

Let us know when they appear where you live. I’ll do the same. It may not be too long!



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Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:43 PM

2. Hi, again!



I wanted to share this.

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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:49 PM

3. Three inches long? Egads... ::shudder::

Definitely glad I live in the west and not the east!

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Response to chia (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:53 PM

4. Chia, they really are pretty sizable!

I am glad they only emerge every 14 or 17 years.

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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:55 PM

5. And with blood-red eyes besides...

truly, a nightmare scenario

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Response to chia (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 08:57 PM

6. Yes!

The blood-red eyes just add to the overall package, don’t they?

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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 09:00 PM

7. How do you deal with that many big bugs all at once? Do you have specific survival tactics?

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Response to chia (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 3, 2021, 10:51 AM

10. Well, I try my best to avoid them....

....and I really avoid stepping on them!

It's been a while since we have had to deal with them. I do remember that they were everywhere, flying through the air, ending up in our car, and crawling on the ground, sidewalks, and driveway....I know they were searching for mates. My husband and I did our best not to destroy any of them. They were just living their lives as they were meant to live them, and they intended no harm. One did fly up my husband's pants leg once, which he only discovered while he and I were sitting in a dental office waiting room! That was interesting.....LOL!

I am not sure what it will be like when they emerge this year. I will be sure to post about our experiences, though!

I'm very grateful they don't bite!

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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 3, 2021, 08:28 PM

12. Stepping on them would be so bad - ugh - gives me chills just to think of it. Up a pant leg....

don't know if I could survive that.

I'll try to watch for your report from the front lines, and drop by to offer my commiserations.

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Response to chia (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 4, 2021, 01:44 PM

13. Yes....I just cannot step on bugs.

I have a humane “bug vacuum” that sucks them up safely so I can then take them outside and let them go. I will definitely come back here and share my experience later!

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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 09:14 PM

9. Wait til I get my camera!!!!

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 3, 2021, 10:52 AM

11. Yes!

I can hardly wait, elleng!

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 09:10 PM

8. I live in Western PA and we had our 17 year locust brood 2019. It was the

third one since I've built my house. Mine was only the seventh house built in a heavily wooded 80 acre housing plan. The locusts that year were ridiculous. You could not carry a conversation outside unless you were less that 5 feet apart and talking loudly. Millions of them flying around screeching.

The bugs themselves are harmless and the infestation only lasts about two weeks. They have no mouth and do not eat anything, they just fly around mating and laying eggs. They use a knife shaped protrusion in the rear end to make a slit in a branch where the eggs are layed. If you have very young trees you may want to cover them, but for older trees it is just a light trimming as the end of the branch may die from so many slashes. The bugs actually do very little harm.

After they are flying around for a couple of days, you will see some without the back end of their body. Since they do not eat or drink they just dry up, the back end snaps off like styrofoam and they die a day or two later.

Take the time to enjoy one of nature's little quirks. Go outside and watch them fly around and be amazed at how loud they can be. The sound level goes up and down like a wave.

Also, you will be amazed at how small the bug is when it crawls out of the ground. it then climbs a couple feet up a tree trunk where it mutates into a flying insect three times the larva that crawled out. If you look carefully you can catch one cracking open the shell and emerging. It is a pretty neat thing to see. And again, they are completely harmless, although they will startle you if they land on a bare arm or shoulder.

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