Anthony Armentano, Global Animal
They’re baacckk! This spring, the Eastern Coast of the United States is set to receive billions of winged guests. The cicadas of Brood II will make their first appearance in 17 years, visiting a number of towns between North Carolina and New England.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prepare for this unexpected arrival. However, the best you can do is buy a decent pair of headphones, given that cicada swarms are louder than your average garbage disposal—reaching up to 90 decibels. Other than that, researchers say that cicadas are absolutely harmless to humans and plant life.
Despite the cicadas’ brief emergence, they spend the rest of their lives underground, growing to adulthood. Little is known about their activities beneath the dirt, but scientists claim that cicada nymphs spend a good deal of their time competing with each other over feeding space. At the end of their maturation cycle, the cicadas emerge from the dirt in order to mate for a few months in the spring, and then perish.
During their emergence, cicadas will be found anywhere from the countryside, to central park. Even though their occupation only lasts a few weeks, their presence will undoubtedly be known.
Although a number of other broods have left the ground to mate in recent years, Brood II has been absent from the skies since 1996. Please take some time to admire this rare occurrence, because these particular insects won’t be back again until 2030. So, when you look up at the sky in mid-April only to see a cloud of cicadas buzzing your way, wave back and just remember that they come in peace.