A Cicada Invasion Is Coming to the East Coast This Year
If you thought we were out of the woods with the craziness that 2020 caused, you better grab your fly swatter.
Scientists are now predicting that a large surge of cicadas will be swarming the eastern seaboard this coming May.
Now, you learn new things every day and I was "today years old" when I found out that this invasion has a name to it: "Brood X."
Once every 17 years, a horde of cicadas invades the Mid-Atlantic and midwest and they're predicted to make landfall on the SouthCoast in just a couple of months from now. The bugs spend five to six weeks above ground to shed their exoskeletons. Their mating call is so loud when grouped together that it can reach up to 100 decibels, equivalent to standing next to a motorcycle or being smack in the middle of a school dance.
Scientists group cicadas based on the year they emerge as adults from spending years underground. “Brood X” is the name given to this generation of cicadas for 2021 and "Brood IX" was 2020.
Now, I know what you're thinking: why haven't we seen this here before? Well, that's because their reach up the eastern seaboard usually stops around New York. Here in Massachusetts, we get a 17-year infestation on Cape Cod, but that one isn't scheduled to hit again until 2025. And thankfully, those don't hit the SouthCoast too hard.
Cicadas are known to overpopulate as a strategy to protect their colony against predators despite not having any defense against predators, which include household pets, wasps, fish, reptiles, birds, and spiders.
There's good news and there's bad news:
The good news: cicadas pose no threat to humans, they don’t destroy crops like locusts, they're not poisonous or venomous and they don't spread disease.
The bad news: they can kill young trees, particularly fruit trees, creating an issue for tree farms and backyard plants.
It's a rather quick process, and as annoying as it stands, once they die off, the cicadas won't be returning until 2038, giving us time to prepare for the next hoard.