Within days, trillions of cicadas will come out of the ground and descend on 15 states.
Scientists say within a couple of weeks at most, cicadas of Brood X will emerge after 17 years underground. This is the largest and most noticeable brood of periodic cicadas, and they’ll be in 15 states from Indiana to Georgia to New York, and they’re coming out in mass numbers now in Tennessee and North Carolina.
The experts say the bugs will mostly come out at dusk to try and avoid predators, and as they emerge from the ground they’ll try to climb up trees or anything vertical. Once off the ground, they shed their skins and try to survive at that vulnerable stage (or be eaten by anything from ants to birds, dogs and cats.) Scientists say the arrival of Brood X is a sign that despite pollution and climate change, something is still right with nature.
They note if the bugs survive their vulnerable stage they grow wings and then ascend into treetops to mate (the males make the loud calls we hear), before they fall to the ground and die after just a few weeks. Then six weeks later their eggs hatch, and tiny nymphs tumble down to the ground where they burrow and go down into the soil for another 17 years. Experts note that cicadas are not dangerous, but it seems what some people dislike about them is that “they’re an inconvenience. Also, when they die in mass numbers they smell bad. They really disrupt our sense of order.”