‘Cicada-geddon’: Big brood of bugs plans to emerge

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – This sound will become much more familiar, possibly as soon as this week.

Dr. Blake Layton is the Extension Entomologist Specialist at Mississippi State.

He said North Mississippi is about to experience something it has not seen in a while.

“What we are about to see is the emergence of these 13-year cicadas, and they look a lot different from the annual cicadas that we see. These are going to be black with red eyes, so you cannot mistake them for anything else,” said Layton.

Richard Brown, MSU Professor Emeritus, said the cicadas have been laying low for a while, but now they are becoming more visible.

“These things have lived the last 13 years under the ground, where they have fed off of roots of trees, shrubs, and plants. Now they are mature and coming out to emerge with their wings fully developed. They will call each other to mate and then it will start all over for another 13 years,” said Brown.

Layton said the cicadas will not cause much harm, but they will be very loud.

“The biggest problem that people will have is the constant noise that they are going to cause in neighborhoods and areas that have a lot of them. These things can have populations from a half of a million to a million per acre in the right kind of habitat,” said Layton.

Layton also said if you are thinking of planting any type of fruit trees, you might want to hold off

“People with orchards, like people with blueberries, peaches, and pecans, may see some damage to the twigs on their plants. It can be somewhat significant of one year, but it is not anything that will be long-term significant importance,” said Layton.

Layton said this year’s swarm of cicadas will be with us until the beginning of June. He said there is not much you can do for the sound, other than wear earplugs.

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