Swarmageddon: The Cicada Invasion of 2013

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Pest Control Industry News
Tags: , , ,

CicadaLater this month, millions of cicadas will emerge from the ground along the U.S. East Coast for the first time in 17 years. Most of the noisy, inch-and-a-half long insects have been living underground since 1996. Not all cicadas lie in wait for 17 years. “Annual” cicadas also appear every summer in some areas.

Although there will be millions of these large creatures you may hear them before you see them. They produce a loud, hovering noise. To create their unique choruses, male cicadas use ribbed tymbal membranes on their abdomens to produce sounds, while females click or snap their wings. This clamor is all done by July.

Just before emerging, the cicadas build exit tunnels to the surface. When the soil temperature exceeds 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius), nymphs leave their burrows usually after sunset, settle on a nearby tree or shrub, and start their final molt to adulthood.

Cicada Killers in palmThese insects won’t cause harm to humans or animals. However, you may want to know more about their natural predator, the Cicada Killer. The Cicada Killer is one of the largest wasps growing to be over 1.5 inches long. The wasp paralyzes a cicada with her sting, carries it back to a chamber in her underground burrow, lays an egg on it, and seals the chamber. A few days later the egg hatches and the wasp larva eats the cicada alive.

Please view this interactive map to see when and where the cicadas will emerge. It may be of interest for your clients too. Please feel free to share this post with them.

If you happen to take any pictures of the cicadas or the Cicada Killer we’d love to see them! Please share them with us on our Facebook page.

  1. […] much about them and they are getting so much press from the media that she was envisioning a Cicada Swarmageddon:   The truth is that for all intents and purposes they are harmless aside from the deafening noise […]

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