17 year cicadas are set to emerge this month in several states across the nation. These red eyed, black thorax flying broods will be emerging very soon. In fact, the brood emerging will be directly effecting these specific areas across the United States.
Areas that will be affected
- Northern Panhandle of West Virginia
- Western Pennsylvania
- Eastern Ohio
17 Year Cicadas Explained
Magicicada, the specific variety of cicada, spend most of their lives underground feeding on the roots of deciduous trees. Roughly 1.5 million cicadas can emerge from one single acre of land. With staggering numbers like this, you can see why they are so destructive.
The adult cicada measures 0.9-1.3 inches in length. Female cicada can be larger than the males. The average life span of an adult 17 year cicada is anywhere between a couple weeks, and a couple months.
These underground dwellers go through 5 development stages of growth before ever emerging from their ground habitat. Studies have shown that there are direct correlations between declining tree growth and 1 year prior to broods emerging. As the nymphs move deeper underground, they begin feeding on larger root systems. Furthermore, these destructive insects not only feed on root systems of trees, they also cut V shaped slits into tree branches when laying their eggs. In fact, this negatively effects grey squirrels because of the damage it causes to the trees.