[Featured image: Unsplash]
Trillions of cicadas will emerge from the ground and take over the East Coast of the United States, in the upcoming weeks. The Brood X or “Brood ten”, cicada group is the largest in size of the cicada family that come out periodically every 17 years, once they have reached adult age. These harmless insects have a long life span of 17 years and live most of their life underground where they sustain from tree root sap. They scurry to the surface once they are ready, they shed their exoskeleton, making them mature and ready to mate. Once the eggs have hatched, the nymph (baby cicada) will drop to the ground, bury itself and grow for the next 17 years.
They will come out when it starts to get warm and most likely after a little rain or morning due, May is prime time for these little creatures. The cicadas will be above ground for 3 to 4 weeks.
These gentle insects will populate the trees to consume the tree’s sap, while the males sing their loud mating call to attract females. They come out in such a large number so that most of them can avoid predators and go through the mating process to reproduce. Indeed, the more they are the most likely they are to live on and survive; survival in multitude and strength in numbers.
The last time this happened was in 2004! So a lot of people are wondering what to expect this time. There is no need to worry about this insect take over, these cicadas, no matter their size are absolutely harmless. Michael J. Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland advocates getting excited about this incredible phenomenon. He says “this is a unique, natural phenomenon that happens nowhere else on earth besides the eastern half of the United States.”
If you’re interested and keeping up with the emergence of the Brood X cicadas, there is an app for that! Cicada Safari is an app created by cicada enthusiasts where anyone can post an image of a cicada and it will be posted to a live map. Thanks to this app, you will be able to experience this incredible phenomenon from all parts of the center East Coast.