2024 Cicada-pocalypse: Seeing Double - WeatherPod

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April 23, 2024 3 min read

Get ready. Trillions of chirpy, red-eyed periodical cicadas are getting ready to emerge from underground in a rare double emergence event. These particular cicadas, known for their distinctive 13 or 17-year cycles, are set to make their presence known with a sound comparable to that of a jet engine. 

Among the 3,400 identified species of cicadas, only nine exhibit the remarkable behavior of disappearing underground and resurfacing en masse. Remarkably, seven of these nine periodical cicada species are native to the United States. While this phenomenon isn't occurring uniformly across North America, it remains a significant natural spectacle worthy of attention.


What is a Brood?

A group of periodic cicadas is referred to as a brood that emerge every 13-17 years. Scientists have been using roman numerals for differentiating between broods across North America and have two broods simultaneously emerging.The two broods to spring up are The Brood XIII, also known as the Northern Illinois Brood, and Brood XIX, famously dubbed the Great Southern Brood.


Where Will Cicadas Hatch?

The Northern Illinois Brood, a cicada with a 17-year cycle, spans regions of Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and northern Illinois. On the other hand, the Great Southern Brood cicadas emerge every 13 years and predominantly inhabits areas such as Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and notably, southern Illinois. 


How Rare is it?

The impending "cicadapocalypse" is set to impact unfortunate residents in select areas of Illinois where two broods will coincide. While the phenomenon isn't widespread across North America, its magnitude is still monumental. For example, the last time this incredibly rare overlap happened was in 1803, when Thomas Jefferson was president and there were just 17 states.


When Will the Cicadas Appear?

The emergence of these cicadas begins once the surrounding soil temperature hits the mark of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This typically happens anywhere between late April and June, with the cicadas sticking around until July.

Born from eggs laid in 2011 and 2007, these cicadas started their journey by falling from trees as newborns. They then burrowed into the earth, where they settled in and sustained themselves by feeding on xylem sap and tree roots as they matured.


What Are They Up To?

Cicadas are only alive for a few weeks before they perish again - so what do they get up to in that time? For the most part: eating and mating. Avid gardeners have no reason to fear as these insects eat away at tree roots underground and do not destroy any crops or plants. The mating process is quite a song and dance - literally! Male cicadas serenade potential mates by vibrating their tymbals (small wings on abdomen) and females respond by flicking their wings. In the end, the eggs are laid inside of trees and the hatchlings burrow themselves underground and start the whole process over.


Bon Appétit!

Many people have wondered if cicadas are edible and as it turns out, they are! Cicadas are known to have a shellfish-like taste and similar crunch to a lobster or shrimp. Many restaurant and chefs have been known to fry or grill these insects and most recipes call for the shell to remain on. Also, pet-owners have no reason to fear as these bug are safe if your fury friend ends up eating a few outside.


Be Prepared!

Did you know that cicadas are attracted to loud noises and bright lights? No need to worry - pop on a Wearable Bug-Screen Walking Pod and enjoy nature without those pesky bugs. Hosting an outdoor party this summer? Our Bug-Screen Pod Pop-Up Dome Tent with Mesh will make sure no cicada crash the party this summer!

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