WASHINGTON - MAY 16: Newly emerged adult cicadas dry their wings May 16, 2004 at a park in Washington, DC. After 17-years of living below ground, billions of cicadas belonging to Brood X begin to emerge across much of the eastern United States. The cicadas shed their larval skin, spread their wings, and fly out to mate making a tremendous noise in the process. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Video includes clips from Brandon Baker / CC BY 3.0, The BBC and Rich4098 / CC BY 3.0 and images from Natalia Wilson / CC BY SA 2.0, Nick Harris / CC BY ND 2.0, Gramody / CC BY SA 2.0 and Meredith Harris / CC BY ND 2.0.
Next month, parts of the U.S. can expect to see and hear lots of 17-year-old cicadas, which will rise from the ground to mate.
The noise, which is mostly a daytime phenomenon, will probably last until mid- to late June, by which time most of the cicadas will probably die, according to Gaye Williams, a Maryland Department of Agriculture entomologist. Williams said predicting exactly when the emergence will end is tough because it depends on many variables, including temperature, moisture and humidity.
The good news is that cicadas can’t chew, so they don’t devour plants and trees. Plus, they don’t bite or sting.
But if you live in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and other neighboring states, now might be the time to invest in some ear plugs.