When you think of spring and summer, you probably picture warm nights with the sound of buzzing insects as the sun sets and the stars come out. Well, this year, you can expect to hear even more sounds as you sit in your backyard, thanks to the cicada emergence of 2021.
This year, you’ll see and hear the cicadas from Brood X emerge from underground after 17 years. These cicadas, while harmless, will definitely make their presence known. But rest assured, there is nothing to fear about them!
By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of the cicada emergence in the spring of 2021, what to expect and how to deal with them.
What are Cicadas?
Let’s start from the basics – what are cicadas?
Cicadas are harmless insects with large bulging eyes and transparent wings. Usually, they are about one to two inches in length and can have a three to four-inch-long wingspan.
There are two common types of cicadas in Maryland: dog-day cicadas and periodical cicadas.
Dog-day cicadas are presented annually, while periodical cicadas emerge every 17 years. In this article, we will be referring to periodical cicadas.
These periodical cicadas are categorized in broods. This year, we will see the emergence of Brood X, which was last present in 2004. Some cicadas may emerge a year or two before or after their 17 years underground so that you may have seen some previously.
When cicadas emerge, they mate, and the females will lay their eggs in small tree branches. With a sharp, blade-like organ, they will cut into the branch to lay their eggs. The eggs will then hatch six to ten weeks later, and the nymphs will burrow into the soil until it’s time to emerge.
Where do Cicadas Emerge?
Cicadas are found in the eastern part of North America. Due to the temperature requirement for nymphs to survive in the soil, this area is ideal for cicadas.
Specifically, in Maryland, you’ll find Broods II, V, X, and XIX.
Are Cicadas Harmless?
Yes! Cicadas are absolutely harmless to both people and plants.
They do not sting or bite. If you do catch one and hold it in your hand, they will make a very loud noise, which can be frightening to some.
If your pet accidentally eats a cicada, there is no need to panic. They won’t be harmed. However, we suggest against allowing your pet to consume a large number of cicadas.
The only living thing that could be harmed by cicadas are young newly planted trees and shrubs. So, if you’re planning to plant trees this year, we recommend that you wait until after the spring emergence or until next year.
How Long Will Cicadas Stay?
Cicadas are above ground for only two to six weeks. So, for a little over a month, you’ll notice the loud hum of cicadas in your backyard.
You can expect the cicada spring emergence to begin in the middle of May and last until the middle of June. It’s during this time that Brood X will mate and lay their eggs for the next generation to appear in 2038.
Don’t be surprised if you find the skin of a cicada on the ground. Once the nymphs emerge from the ground, they shed their exoskeleton to take on their adult form.
How Many Cicadas Can I Expect?
Yes, you read that right. Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge this spring. There can be as many as one million cicadas per acre!
However, depending on deforestation and other environmental factors, there could be less than expected.
There is no need to worry, though. You will probably only see a few flying around and hear them singing in the trees.
How Loud are Cicadas?
Cicadas can be surprisingly loud.
In fact, during the last emergence, The Baltimore Sun published an article claiming that cicadas are illegally loud. Spokeswoman Linda Sherman was quoted as saying, “In some areas, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration could cite them for exceeding the 85- to 90-decibel limit set by law.”
Cicadas have a decibel between 90 and 100. For reference, that’s about as loud as a subway train passing by you in the station.
Should I Be Worried?
There is absolutely no need to be worried about the spring cicada emergence of 2021. This is a natural cycle of the harmless insects, and you shouldn’t worry.
They pose no threat to the health or wellbeing of people, pets, and plants. The only thing that may be disturbing is the sound they make while living in the trees. If you live near the woods or a forest, you’ll notice them more than if you’re in the city.
Just be patient, and in a few weeks and Brood X will be gone for another 17 years.
Do I Need an Exterminator?
Typically, you won’t need a Maryland exterminator during a cicada emergence. However, if you notice and can identify cicadas laying eggs in your newly planted trees, you may want to consider placing ¼ inch netting around newly planted trees and scrubs.
Brody Brothers Can Handle All of Your Extermination Needs
This spring, if you notice cicadas are getting cozy in the trees on your property in Maryland, give Brody Brother’s Quality Pest Control a call.
With almost 30 years of experience, our family-owned business will identify and exterminate any unwanted pest in your Maryland home or on your property. By implementing safe and quality practices while offering excellent customer service, you’ll feel safe in your home again.
Call us today and receive a free pest control estimate from one of our professional team members.