You have surely heard about Brood X of cicadas. What are they, though? Are they harmful? Do they bite? Don’t worry, as this guide got you covered. Read on for more!
What Are Cicadas?
Cicadas are flying insects that produce a loud buzzing sound to attract female mates. They live underground for 13 or even 17 years. Then, they come to the surface to shed, find partners and lay eggs.
On average, an adult female can produce hundreds of eggs, ranging from 400 to 600. That’s massive. As adults die, young cicadas will burrow into the soil and live there for 13 or 17 years.
Cicadas have six legs, black bodies, red eyes, and orange wing veins. Like beetles, flies, ants, butterflies, and crickets, they have antennae that can grow up to 2 inches in length.
Once they leave their burrow, cicadas will only last for a few weeks on the ground. Once they molt, copulate, and lay eggs, they may die at once.
When in large groups, cicadas can be destructive. Aside from causing damage to trees, they can create noise that can wake you up or lose you concentration in your home office. Experts say the sound of cicadas can reach up to 100 decibels like the sound of electricity.
Cicadas live underground. They are usually found in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic in the US. They love places with many trees as they feed on snap and lay eggs on small branches.
Do Cicadas Bite?
No, cicadas do not bite as they do not have mouthparts. They only have a straw-like tube they use to suck water.
Some people may think cicadas have bitten them. But remember that the insect has many sharp and pointed body parts.
Are Cicadas Harmful?
Cicadas are not harmful. In fact, they are safe to eat. It is reported that Ancient Greeks ate cicadas. Eating cicadas has also been part of the tradition in North America, Central Africa, the Balochistan region in Pakistan, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, and other Asian countries.
Cicadas, the shells, in particular, are utilized in traditional Chinese medicines over the past decades. Chinese believe the shells might treat fever, conjunctivitis, blurred vision, cataracts, and seizures.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the cicada is also used to remedy eczema and itchy rashes, especially during the early stages of chickenpox and measles. But it requires further research and studies to prove such a claim.
Cicadas are also safe to pets as they are not biting or stinging insects. But when eaten in excess amount, the risks of vomiting and diarrhea are higher than expected.
Whether your dog or cat drools or vomits a couple of times after eating and playing with cicadas, feel free to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
Pets are always curious. Whenever they see any moving object, they catch, play, and eat it. If there are several cicadas in your backyard, it is better to put them on a leash during your daily workout routine.
Can Cicadas Damage Trees?
Unfortunately, yes. Cicadas can pose a danger to trees. Females, for example, slice twigs for their eggs. They usually lay their eggs in the ends of branches, which may kill the trees. Over time, this can lead to dead leaves that can be an eyesore.
Mature trees can survive cicadas once they emerge. Newly planted shrubs and trees, however, are different. They may wither and die, which can be a headache on your part. You can cover them with nets before these little creatures arrive.
Cicadas can also create holes in the ground when they emerge. Commonly known as cicada chimneys, these holes can be noticeable in a lush lawn. Although they do not pose any danger to the turf, cicada chimneys may be unsightly.
Imagine your beautiful lawn turns into a disaster during the season of cicadas. That could be frustrating. What’s the best thing you could do to remove these holes? Taking a quick course of action is a smart move. Leaving the job to an expert can save your time and other problems.
When Do Cicadas Emerge?
It is hard to tell when cicadas will emerge. But experts say they will start to arrive in early or mid-May because of the warm rain.
According to professionals, during the second quarter of the year, the rain tends to be warm, which will trigger the emergence of cicadas.
However, cicadas do not appear right away. It takes around two weeks for them to go to the ground. That is long enough for homeowners to prepare.
What Are the Signs Cicadas Begin to Emerge?
It takes a maximum of 17 years for cicadas to emerge. What are the early signs that these creatures start to go to the ground?
Holes in the garden and lawn are the common noticeable indication. If you see holes everywhere on your turf, there may be cicadas ready to shed and lay eggs.
Get Rid of Cicadas?
Although they do not sting or bite, cicadas can damage young and adult trees. What are you going to do to shy them away?
Even if they would find trees to eat and mate as soon as they go to the ground, some can make their way thru open doors and windows.
While they are harmless, imagine a bunch of cicadas on your sofa. That could be a terrible experience. You can patch up holes around your home.
Another thing to do is to cover every piece of furniture on your patio. If there’s enough space in your garage, you can move the sofa and tables there to protect them from any cicadas waste.
In addition, you should protect young trees or plantings and use hot tub covers.
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