This Summer: Cicadas

By Emily Letterle

This summer brings the first emergence of periodical cicadas since 2004. These cicadas burrow out from under ground every 13th or 17th year, depending on the brood. This year, Brood X, a brood of 17-year periodical cicadas, will be emerging in 15 eastern states. The cicadas lay their eggs underground where they live and mature for 17 years. These adult cicadas then burrow out from the ground in the spring where they will be loud and annoying before mating, laying their eggs in the ground, then dying at the start of fall.

Virginia Tech scientists have stated that its possible for as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre may emerge. The cicadas don’t bite or sting but will be overwhelming and annoying due to their sheer volume and noise. Be prepared for large masses of cicadas to be covering yards, blocking storm drains, singing late into the night, and flying at windows and cars. They begin to emerge when the soil reaches 64 degrees at 8 inches under the surface. The cicadas will be emerging all throughout Louisville and the surrounding areas, but they are expected to hit Indiana and areas along the Ohio River especially hard. It is expected that this mass exodus will start at late April to early May. In several states, there have already been sightings of these cicadas as they have already begun to appear.

Senior Erin Lewantowicz shares her sarcastic outlook saying, “I can’t wait for the cicadas to blossom. It will just make 2021 an even better year.” Ms. Culver, on the other hand, is looking forward to the rare event. She shared with us, “This is a special occasion. I can’t wait to see the impact that this event has on the environment. I’m so excited to drag my kids to look at the cicadas with me. They might not enjoy it, but I sure do.”

A map of the states expected to see Brood X cicadas this spring.

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