The Brood-X Cicadas Are About to Emerge After 17 Years Underground

Brood X cicaddas are about to emerge in Eastern and Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlOne of the world’s most fascinating events is upon us. This May, the Brood X cicadas, which is one of the world’s largest swarms, will emerge after being underground for 17 whole years. Whether this event fascinates or terrifies you, we are right in the center of it here in Virginia! In fact, experts say Virginia and Maryland are particularly likely to be the hot spots for the cicada emergence out of 14 states total.

At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, our experts are here to share all you need to know about the reemergence of the Brood X cicadas in the coming months.

Cicadas 101

In the next two months, you’re bound to hear a lot about cicadas. But what exactly are these insects? Unlike your typical cicada, Brood X cicadas are slightly-frightening insects that are up to two inches long with a 3-inch wingspan and bright red, beady eyes. Brood X cicadas are different from your typical annual cicada, as they only emerge every 17 years as opposed to every year.

Cicadas are infamous for their loud presence. Male cicadas are the noisy ones, producing nearly 100 decibels of sound. This deafening noise can be heard across long distances and is used to attract female cicadas for mating.

When Are the Brood X Cicadas Coming?

Experts predict that the Brood X cicadas will emerge here in Virginia in late May. Here’s what to know about their life cycle during this time:

  1. When soil temperatures reach about 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the Brood X cicadas will emerge from the ground as nymphs.
  2. About 6 days later, the nymphs will morph into adult cicadas. This stage will last about 2-4 weeks.
  3. The adult male cicadas will use their tymbal to attract females. After mating, the females will lay her eggs in twigs on the ground.
  4. After mating, the adult cicadas will fall to the ground, providing nutrients for the animals and soil. This marks the beginning of the next 17-year period until Brood X cicadas emerge once more.

Are Brood X Cicadas Dangerous?

As frightening as this event may be—especially with the massive swarms—Brood X cicadas pose little threat to humans or structures. In fact, cicadas are a feast for all types of animals, even your dogs. Cicadas feed on sap from tree roots, which will only threaten young trees and saplings. Cicadas have no interest in coming indoors, but keep your windows and doors shut during their emergence to keep them outside. Lastly, Brood X cicadas may look terrifying, but they do not bite, sting, or carry diseases.

What to Do About Brood X Cicadas in Henrico VA

As much as you may not want to deal with these cicadas, there is nothing to do to prevent them. Spraying or applying a pesticide would do more harm than good. To stay protected from their emergence, consider covering any young trees and make sure to keep your windows and doors closed securely! To learn more about the Brood X cicadas, the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are happy to help. Contact us today.

The Emergence of 17-Year Cicadas in Virginia

Periodical cicadas in Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlMany people are accustomed to the occasional humming of a cicada during the summertime, but not the loud buzz of thousands! After living underground for 17 long years, cicadas are expected to emerge on the East Coast, including right here in Virginia. Periodical cicadas, often misidentified as “locusts”, live underground for years as juveniles before they emerge above ground for just a few weeks to a month. There are seven periodical cicada species — all members of the population develop at the same time and thus emerge all at once. This makes them much different than your typical cicada species, which are seen every summer. Brood IX is expected to emerge this year in southwestern Virginia as well as southern West Virginia. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about these unique 17-year cicadas.

What Are Periodical Cicadas?

Periodical cicadas are cicadas that appear at 13- or 17-year intervals. This makes them much rarer than your typical cicada species, which are active annually. 17-year cicadas are grouped into geographical broods based on which calendar year they will emerge. Here’s how to identify periodical cicadas:

  • They have black bodies, red eyes, and orange veins on their translucent wings.
  • They range in size from 3/4″ to 2 1/2″
  • These cicadas have a pair of antennae and six legs
  • Periodical cicadas appear in the hundreds or thousands per acre
  • They are not to be confused with annual cicadas, which are black and green in color

Why Are They Emerging Now?

17-year cicadas live beneath forest floors for years and receive sustenance from the tree roots. These nymphs live no more than 2 feet away from the surface but can travel deeper to feed. These nymphs will emerge on a spring evening when the soil temperature is more than 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This typically occurs anytime between April and June. The adult cicadas that emerge only live for a few weeks and are typically gone by mid-July.

In their short time, they are focused on reproducing. The male periodical cicadas will “sing”, which is the loud hum you may be used to hearing. After mating, the female will lay up to 600 eggs inside twig slits. When nymphs hatch, they will burrow underground and begin another 13 or 17-year cycle.

Are 17-Year Cicadas Dangerous?

These cicadas pose the biggest threat to young trees, which are the targets for laying eggs. They do not bite or sting humans and do not pose any health threats. They are mostly known to be nuisance pests, in large part due to the fact that they make so much noise! They are by far the loudest insect in the nation, and their “singing” can be heard for up to 1/2 mile away. They may get into your home by accident, but are not able to breed indoors and will not infest your property.

Regardless, if you have troubles with any insects inside your property, it’s always best to call your local pest control company, such as Loyal Termite & Pest Control!