Cicada 2013: Control of Periodical Cicada Insect
Cicada bugs, are also called the "17 year locust", Cicada insects or
Periodical Cicada, are present in many areas of the country. In areas where
a limited number of these insects are present, they pose only a minor nuisance.
However, when they emerge all at once by the millions, they can do serious
damage to a variety of young trees and shrubs in your backyard. While Cicadas
are fascinating to some, their presence in big numbers, is un-nerving to
Large spring hatches, called "broods", emerge in 13 year and 17 year cycles.
The 2013 Cicada emergence is sizable, and will arrive in a number of states
this spring. States impacted are: CT, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, and VA.
The 2013 Cicada emergence is from Brood II. This brood has a 17 year life
2013 Cicada Watch Sightings
- We are reporting the 2013 sightings, as reported...by you. Follow the 2013
brood, as it emerges.
Also see the Cicada Brood map - link at the bottom of this page.
Cicada Pictures and Images - See what the
"buzz" is all about. Contribute
When a Cicada emergence hits an area, the best protection is pest netting
with a 1/4" mesh.
Buy Pest Netting
Most, but not all years, a Cicada brood hatches, affecting anywhere from
a small area, to several states. When a particular brood matures and emerges,
it is usually in many millions of insects. Fortunately, their adult life
span above ground is very brief, lasting about four to six weeks.
Cicada is a flying, plant sucking insect that emerges in periodic cycles.
Cicada nymphs suck juices from roots of plants. Egg laying females cause
significant damage to trees, bushes and shrubs, during their brief adult
stage. They are not harmful to humans. Counter to some rumors, they
do not bite, nor do they often land on a human or animal.
An important distinction: Cicada are present in many areas of the
country in small numbers. In the summer, many of us can hear an occasional
loud, shrill Cicada somewhere in a tree. When a cicada brood hatches, it
is an entirely different event. They emerge by the thousands, or even by
the millions. During their brief emergence, they are a major nuisance.
Types of Cicada:
There are two basic types of Cicadas:
Periodic, 2-8 year cycle- These insects "seem" to appear every year
in some areas, because their life cycle is staggered. Actually, a different
brood is hatching each year to make it seem like they are annual.
13 to 17 year cycle- This group does not appear every year. When they
do emerge, it is in huge numbers. They are sometimes called "17 Year
Locusts". Although, they are not related to locusts.
The Life Cycle of a Cicada
While the Cicada's life span may be as long as 17 years, they spend almost
all of their lives underground. Cicada nymphs emerge from the ground in periodic
cycles. These nymphs climb up trees and quickly shed their skins(molt). Adult
flying cicada emerge from the skin. The adult Cicadas' entire purpose in
life is to mate and produce offspring. You can hear the males' mating "song",
from early morning to nightfall. In heavily infested areas, the noise can
be quite disturbing. About five to ten days after mating, the female lands
on twigs of deciduous trees, cuts slits in them, and lays her eggs in the
Adults do not eat. Damage to trees is caused by the adult female, as she
cuts slits into twigs and small diameter branches, to lay her eggs. Shortly
after mating, the male Cicada dies.
The eggs hatch, producing tiny nymphs that fall to the ground. The nymphs
burrow into the soil and feast on underground tree roots. They remain there
for years, slowly growing, until their periodic cycle calls them to emerge
again as adults.
How Cicadas Harm Trees and Shrubs:
It's the female that harms trees. Choosing deciduous trees, she cuts two
slits in small pencil sized (or smaller) branches and twigs, and lays about
24 eggs. She then goes on to another twig and repeats the process. A female
cicada can deposit up to 600 eggs.
Where infestations are heavy, the egg laying process is repeated on a tremendous
number of twigs. This causes the twigs(or ends of the tree) to die, and often
break off. With a heavy infestation, it often destroys young trees and bushes.
While the damage may look bad on large trees, a mature tree usually survives
the damage. Although damaged trees may look unsightly, for a year of two.
Affected Trees, Bushes and Shrubs:
Female cicadas seek woody stalks, 1/2 inch or less in diameter. Pines are
not bothered, because of the sap. Any trees from soft gum trees to medium
beech, apple, etc to harder woods such as maples, oaks, hickory. The real
key is branches that are 1/2" to 1" in diameter or less, with long open sections
where they can "stitch" (lay) eggs.
Don't Need Protection:
Black Eyed Susan
Fruit Trees in general
Rose of Sharon
Pine and Firs
Cicada and Locust Protection and Control:
Insecticides are ineffective on these large insects.
Many animals eat Cicadas, including birds, dogs and cats. Humans eat Cicadas,
too. If you are so inclined, there are recipes online! Cicadas emerge for
a very brief period of time in huge numbers. The feast is short lived. Natural
predators don't make a big dent in their populations.
Insect Netting is the most effective way to provide protection for
young trees and shrubs, which are most susceptible. Because Cicada are large
insects, a 1/4" mesh netting is effective. Wrap pest netting completely around
the tree and tie or seal it off, to keep any insects from finding an entryway.
Important Note: Even if the Cicadas have emerged in your area, you
have 5-10 days to cover young trees before the female begins to cause damage,
as she lays her eggs.
Buy Pest Netting- It's the best cicada and
locust prevention. Find bags and sheet sizes to protect against Cicada, locust,
birds, deer bunnies, and other pests.
- From Garden Hobbies
Brood Map Displays a chart of all of the broods and when
they will hatch.
Cicada Pictures and Images - See what the
"buzz" is all about.
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