cicadas

5 Facts About This Year’s Cicadas

Eva Niessner

5 Facts About This Year’s Cicadas

The cicadas are coming! They’re scheduled to start popping out of the ground all over Maryland in May, and these mysterious bugs are getting a lot of buzz. Want to learn a little bit more about cicadas? We’ve got a few fun facts right here. 


Cicadas are not locusts or grasshoppers

Let’s clear one thing up right away. Even though they may seem similar to locusts and grasshoppers because they make a lot of noise and come in ‘plagues’ or large numbers, they’re not the same thing. Want to make things even more confusing? There are many different types of cicadas, including the annual (the ones that come out every year) and the periodical (the ones who we’re talking about, who emerge every 13 or 17 years). Our friends the periodicals can be distinguished by their dark bodies, red eyes, and large wings. 


These cicadas are ‘Brood X’ -- X as in 10

Many people say ‘Brood Ex’, but really, the X stands for the Roman numeral ten. There are twelve large broods of cicadas that come out every 17 years and three that come out every 13, and Brood X is predicted to have cicadas emerging in the billions. They’ll come back out in this cycle in 2038. 


There’s a good reason so many of them come out at once

So why do billions of the cicadas emerge, anyway? This is a tactic to overwhelm predators! At first, all kinds of creatures (like birds, lizards, and raccoons) will be eating the cicadas, but after awhile, they’ll get full and won’t bother the millions of others that are around. The many survivors will mate, lay eggs, and prepare the next generation for the same 17 years later. 


Only male cicadas sing

You’re probably familiar with the loud singing (or, if you prefer, screeching) of cicadas. But all of those singers are male. Generally, they’re calling out to attract females so they can mate. A tree full of singing males can be up to 100 decibels in volume -- the same as a helicopter! 


Cicadas aren’t poisonous 

Did your dog or cat make a snack of one of the cicadas? Don’t worry! These bugs won’t poison them, bite, or hurt your pets in any way, though if your pet eats too many, they could get a tummy ache. Cicadas have also been popular snacks for human beings for many centuries. Would you be brave enough to eat one? 

Leave a reply

Latest articles

UKRAINE
Support Ukraine with our new line

04/28/22

Support Ukraine with our new line

The news coming from Ukraine has been difficult to watch. It's hard to feel like we can help when we live on the other side of the world. But there...

read more
PREAKNESS
Prepare for Preakness with these Thoroughbred Facts

04/26/22

Prepare for Preakness with these Thor...

With the Preakness Stakes right around the corner on May 21, we know you're preparing for a day of fancy hats, ice-cold drinks, and Maryland pride. But you might not...

read more
6 Fascinating Facts about Butterflies

04/28/22

6 Fascinating Facts about Butterflies

One of our favorite signs that warm weather and blooming flowers are coming soon is seeing a butterfly! Butterflies are beautiful and helpful little creatures that come in every size,...

read more
Prep for Preakness With These Products

05/16/22

Prep for Preakness With These Products

The Preakness Stakes are coming up fast! Next week, Baltimore will be buzzing with excitement as the thoroughbreds race for the wreath of Black-Eyed Susans. Whether you're planning to attend...

read more
OCEAN CITY
12 Fun Facts About OC, MD

05/16/22

12 Fun Facts About OC, MD

We know it. We love it. It's Ocean City, Maryland! Chances are, you've got memories of this iconic beach town from your childhood. But we've got a few fun facts...

read more
MEMORIAL DAY
Here are 12 Fun Ways to Spend Memorial Day Weekend in MD

05/16/22

Here are 12 Fun Ways to Spend Memoria...

Memorial Day is coming up fast, Marylanders! Did it sneak up on you? Even if you don't have plans yet, there's no need to fear. We've got a dozen ideas...

read more
SEAFOOD
Dining on the Water in MD: Try these 6 Spots

05/16/22

Dining on the Water in MD: Try these ...

One of the best things about Maryland is that you're never far from the water! This summer, why not treat yourself to a delicious meal right by the waterside? Here...

read more
MEMORIAL DAY
Support These 5 Veteran Nonprofits This Memorial Day

05/26/22

Support These 5 Veteran Nonprofits Th...

It's important to remember that Memorial Day isn't just about grilling hamburgers and visiting the beach. Memorial Day was created to honor those who died in US military service --...

read more
CLOTHES
Our Domino Sugar Collab is Super Sweet!

05/16/22

Our Domino Sugar Collab is Super Sweet!

There's something awfully sweet about the pride that Baltimore has in the Domino Sugar company! Last year, the iconic sign made its way back to the Baltimore skyline, and we...

read more