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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HouseHouse Arrow to Home Insect ControlInsect Control Arrow to Cicada informationCicada Information

cicadaWhat's that racket in the backyard?

If you're anywhere near a cicada emergence, here's an opportunity to learn more about this unusual phenomenon that still has nature experts puzzled over the exact how and why. Put simply, it is a truly fascinating cycle of death and rebirth — and a perfectly-timed spectacle of song and dance which in some species happens every 13 years, while in others it may occur every 17 years.

While the science of cicadas continues to cause wonder and excitement, ask any homeowner and you'll quickly find cicadas are best known for driving the whole neighborhood to distraction with the weeks-long roar of their "love calls."

The birth & short life of a cicada

Cicada

Why do cicadas "sing"?

A popular theory holds that the roar in your backyard is a result of romantic overtures by male cicadas to attract a mate.

However, another theory points to the cicada's strong survival skills.

Their songs are not only irritating to humans, but also to bug-loving birds, who are often repelled by the sheer racket of a cicada emergence.

So, is it a "love call" - or an attempt to avoid being eaten by birds?

Cicada songListen to a cicada call

The life cycle of a cicada begins slowly as various species of black and orange periodical Cicadas spend their formative years underground.

There, they leisurely feed on tree roots until ready to emerge aboveground as fully-formed adults more than a decade later.

As the weather warms in spring, millions of cicadas appear with the only purpose to mate, lay eggs, and die off — so that the next generation can grow to emerge ... to begin the cycle all over again.

And, as anyone who has witnessed one can tell you, a cicada emergence is an awesome spectacle to behold.

Here they come again

The last great emergence in the U.S. began in 2004 when Cicada Mania gripped the South and Northeast. Then another brood resurfaced in 2011 in parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

In 2013, the Northeast coast was under the grip of the critters again with a cacophonic encore as billions of the flying noisemakers emerged from North Carolina to New England during April and May!

Meanwhile, find out what you can do now, and in the future, if your area is destined to be serenaded around the time of their next appearance .....

 

also see in House & Home -> Pest Control | also see in Gardening -> Garden Bugs


More about cicadas around the Web:

 

UMMZ Periodical Cicada Page - With a scholarly look at everything you want to know about mating habits, life cycle and more with full-color photos, audio files, and related resources.

Kid's Cicada Hunt - Rediscover a kid's fascination with bugs through the eyes of Aaron and Ethan as they hunt, collect 'em, and get answers about the pesky critters.


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