CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Warmer weather brings out insects like mosquitoes, ladybugs, and stink bugs, but this year will also bring the return of cicadas after nearly 17 years of them being in the ground.
“Well, the great eastern brood this year is supposed to be one of the largest cicada emergences. It is supposed to be in the billions upwards of trillions of cicadas coming out of the ground,” said Natasha Wright from Braman Termite & Pest Elimination.
This generation of cicadas that are emerging this year goes back to 2004 when things like Twitter and the iPhone weren’t around. These noisy insects spend most of their juvenile life underground, sucking on tree roots and vegetation. Once the soil temperatures reach about 64 degrees, these cicadas start to surface, mainly in locations south of Massachusetts, like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
However, cicadas won’t emerge in western Massachusetts this year, but if you’re planning on going south, here’s what to do if you come in contact with one.
“They cause no problems, they’re more of just an annoyance because they sing really loud. They don’t bite, they don’t sting, they just scare people because they are large,” said Wright.
Once these insects come up, they will make a loud “singing” noise, also known as a mating call for about 4-6 weeks. After mating and laying their eggs, these adult cicadas will then die and the new eggs will hatch in the ground.
Thankfully, after this year, this cycle won’t repeat again until 2038.