When and Where?
The large cicada outbreak begins around the third week in May in parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, western North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and southern Michigan. They're expected to be especially prevalent in the DC Capital Region. The cicada activity will peak between mid-May and mid-June, and the insects will die off about four weeks after first emerging.
What's the Big Deal?
Often confused with their annual cousins, the Annual or Dogday Cicadas we hear every year around late July and August, Periodical Cicadas emerge in much larger numbers. Literally appearing by the trillions, expect the periodical cicadas to overrun many yards, pelt windows, fly into people, clog storm drains and basically wreak buggy havoc.
Will They Hurt Me?
Although cicadas may give many people the creeps, the bugs won't sting or bite. They may cause vomiting or constipation in dogs, cats and other animals who find the cicadas tasty and injest too many, however.
What Can I Do to Prevent Landscape Damage?
Although cicadas rarely cause major damage to plants, they may harm young or newly-planted hardwood and fruit trees, as the female cicadas make small incisions near the tips of tree branches, where they lay eggs. The branch beyond the incisions often dies.
What's Brood X?
The 17-year cicada (Magicicada sp.) is the largest of the various cicada populations, so it is referred to as Brood X, or the Big Brood. Other cicada broods have different cycles, and are not as intensely populated.