Cicadas to make their return after 17 years

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After 17 years of being underground, billions of little critters are set to make their return.

The emergence of the Brood X Cicadas is expected to begin reappearing as early as next week with the sole purpose of reproducing and will eventually die off over the next few weeks.

“We can expect anywhere around 1.5 million per acre,” said Tabby Flinn, agriculture and natural resources educator at Purdue Extension. “Especially in areas that have a lot more trees like the southern part of the state and they’re going to start emerging sometime later this April, early May, when the soil temperature reaches about 65 degrees.”

According to Flinn, the insects stay underground for 17 years because it allows them to hide their pattern from predators, but many people in the area remember the last time cicadas were above ground in 2004.

“They were pretty steady for the amount of time they were here,” said West Terre Haute resident Frances Scott. “So they are annoying. They’re really loud and can be kind of intimidating but they don’t last that long.”

Each female can lay anywhere from 400 to 600 eggs within the six weeks they are above ground.

“The noise you hear from Cicadas is the mating call of the male and they are vibrating an organ that’s called tymbals,” said Flinn. “That’s going to attract the female and they’ll mate and lay eggs.”

The swarm of the insects will not harm you or your pets but can become a problem if you decide to eat outside.

“This was probably 34 years ago,” said Scott. “When we had a gathering out here and was cooking beans and the cicadas were flying around. [We] never kept them out of the beans so we don’t know if some of them got cooked up.”

These insects will be around for about six weeks until they go back in the ground until 2038.

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