Every seventeen years these cicada insects crawl out of the ground or tree branches and mate. Different regions of the United States are affected on a rolling cycle and this year the New England and Mid-Atlantic States are predicted to be the most effected. There are many different species of cicadas but the one that may affect us this year are known as Magicicada. And they could potentially be crawling anywhere that has grass or on trees.
Cicadas have a very distinct and loud mating song, much like crickets except they don’t rub their legs together to make noise. Instead they use special muscles around their ribs called tymbals to make their mating songs.
Thousands of these Magicicadas are predicted to come out this year in our region of the country. However, if you see a swarm of cicadas flying in your general vicinity, do not be afraid! Cicadas have no interest in humans, especially when they are out of the ground. Their only interest is to mate. The males will be singing their mating songs and the females will then lay their eggs either in the ground or on trees or shrubbery. So there may be damage to trees or crops and large cicada insects on the ground later this summer, making the ground sound a little crunchier as you walk but other than that they should not harm you. This could be a very exciting summer (if you are into bugs) or a very disgusting time (if bugs are not your thing). But if nothing else, I hear grilled cicadas make an excellent snack. YUM!
-Kevin, the Copley Teen Room Simmons Intern