The Cicadas Are Coming: Here's How to Protect Your Home and Garden

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Today we want to share with you a special post:

Brood X cicadas have arrived!

Attention Midwest and Northeast folks - it's about to get noisy.

The Brood X cicadas (for Brood 10) are coming out of the ground and singing their song from Illinois to the east, with a descent to Georgia. So when will Brood X arrive? The first members of this illustrious group of insects were observed in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. in mid-May, and the rest of his friends and family are expected to emerge within a few days. How big is Brood X? In billions.

So what is special about this group of insects? After all, don't cicadas show up every year, almost everywhere in the United States? Yes. But not all species follow the same pattern.

Litter X, also known as Brood of the Grand Orient, is a group of periodic cicadas and these types, which have a life cycle of many years, are unique to the eastern part of the country. The rest of the nation sees species with much shorter life cycles.

There are about 170 species of cicadas in the U.S., three of them have a 17-year life cycle (including Litter X) and four have a 13-year cycle, according to nationally renowned cicada experts.

He literally wrote the book about this litter (The Periodical Cicadas: The Brood X Edition was published this year).

What Has Brood X Been Up to for the Last 17 Years?

The easy answer is: they have been living underground. This group grew from eggs planted on tree branches 17 years ago. After mating, the females lay their eggs on the terminal tips of tree branches, the thickness of a pencil.

Each female carries about 500 eggs and lays them in groups of about 10 to 30 or more in nests about a quarter-inch long. As soon as the branch runs out, she flies to a new one if necessary. About a day after laying her eggs, she dies.

About six weeks after that, the eggs hatch, this year in late July or early August. The very young cicada's lymph is released from its nursery into the treetops and falls directly to the ground immediately. They feed on grass and other shallow roots for weeks.

For this group, On New Years', they will be 8 to 12 inches below the ground, sucking up the roots of the trees. Usually where they snuggled. They do not hibernate; They literally spend almost 17 years eating and digging tunnels.

What Happens When Brood X Emerges?

After the 17th birthday party, and when the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees, the nymphs rise and find a vertical surface where they can transform into an adult cicada. The insect pumps its wings with fluid and totally transforms everything the first night it burrows in the ground. Then it goes back to the trees so they can mature a bit.

Why Do Cicadas Sing?

And that's when the males start singing loudly, trying to attract their mates. Kritsky says he measured the song of a cicada at 96 decibels, about the same as a motorcycle engine.

Are Cicadas Harmful to Humans?

The idea of โ€‹โ€‹billions of insects emerging from the ground and flying all over your home and garden may seem like a nightmare, cicadas are not really harmful to humans. They do not bite; They do not bite; They do not accept small children.

Are Cicadas Harmful to Plants and Flowers?

Insects do not pose any danger to your garden. They do not eat vegetables, flowers, or annuals. The damage they cause occurs in very young trees, three to four feet tall, that you just planted.

This is because the females nest shortly after emerging from their tunnels and mating. If you live in the Litter X emergency zone and are thinking of planting some new trees, wait a few weeks. If you've already planted a young seedling, less than five feet tall, you can purchase a mesh garden bag to place over the entire tree and tie to the bottom.

The plant can still receive air and water, but the cicada cannot lay eggs. You can probably start planting around June 20 and be safe.

Can Cicadas Damage Your Land?

Although Brood X can be difficult on your trees during nesting, they will soon fertilize the same soil they grew in. When they die, they collect around the base of the trees and can stink for a time. You might be tempted to grab the leaf blower and move that stink down the road, but wait. Soon, the nutrients from the insects will return to the tree and provide fuel for growth.

Other Benefits of Brood X Cicadas

The cicada life cycle has other benefits for nature. The holes they make in the ground are like natural aerators. Its appearance is food for animals, birds, and rodents, which provides more food for owls and raptors.

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Brood X

Source: PBS NewsHour

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