In case you haven't heard yet, the cicadas are coming this year. In the next few months you will be hearing about the impending emergence of the 17 year cicada, mistakenly called 17 year locusts. If you don't remember the last outbreak, or if you are new to this area, you need to know a few facts about this periodic phenomenon.
Cicadas are large, plant-feeding insects. They have clear wings and are known for making a very loud noise. When tens of thousands of cicadas are singing at the same time the sound is quite loud and annoying. Be prepared for about 2 to 4 weeks of this sound beginning in May.
Although it is not entirely clear why this insect comes out every 17 years, scientists believe it has something to do with survival. Since billions of cicadas emerge at about the same time, it is impossible for birds and other predators to make a dent in the population. Yes, the birds have their fill of cicadas, since this insect is a rather cumbersome flier. But how much can one bird eat in a month?
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