Time for new earplugs.

Monday, May 21, 2007 17:31 | Filled in bugs, cicada, insects, news, opinion, science, sex

Hi Brit,

When you’re walking across your yard or a park, do you ever wonder what’s under your feet?  Well, over here, it’s these: 


That scary as hell looking thing is a cicada.  Some types have a 13 or 17 year life cycle, and live underground until it’s time to mate.  At that point they all come out at once, billions of them, and for a month the sound of the males’ mating call is almost deafening.  Fortunately they don’t bite or sting, but they are large enough to hurt a bit if they happen to fly into you.  I’m happy to announce that we won’t get another hatch until 2011, but others are not so lucky, Swarms of Cicadas Emerging in Midwest.  Just thought I’d give you a heads up, if you happened to be planning to travel in the Midwest.

the Grit

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17 Comments to Time for new earplugs.

  1. Barbara (Xerraire) says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Residents of Maryland are well acquainted with the cicada and their every 17 year return.

    We recently had our appearence of them. The period before I was lucky enough to catch a flight to Europe during that era, and I can still well remember the silence I felt leaving Maryland and getting on that airplane.

  2. Emalyse says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Oh don’t – those things used to drive my tinnitus crazy in Australia. Apparently my partner’s Mum used to pick them up and tickle their tummys to prompt the sound. I heard Elle ‘the body’ McPherson once say that she missed their sound when away from Oz (really!). Luckily no such equivalent in the UK.

  3. the Grit says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Barb,

    We had them 3 or 4 years ago, but the hatch wasn’t as big as I recall from earlier in life. It seems that there’s enough development in the area to lessen their numbers.

    Hi Em,

    When I saw the news item, I looked it up and knew you didn’t have them over there. It’s why I thought some of our non-US readers might find it interesting. I did not, however, know they existed Down Under, although I seem to recall that Africa is infested. Most interesting. Of course, in some places people eat them. I may have to grill a batch next time we are invaded.

    the Grit

  4. Next Stop Lauderdale says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    “I’m happy to announce that we won’t get another hatch until 2011″

    Ah shucks and to think if they could wait just another year it would be on the otherside of the Mayan calendar.

    . . . . . . stevereenie

  5. mommy zabs says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    interesting you posted this. I have not heard them lately but I SWEAR I am seeing their shelles all over my gardens??? I wondered if they had been out, but that is a really hard thing to miss. However, I am in the midwest….

  6. the Grit says:

    May 21st, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Hi s,

    You know, I was thinking the same thing when I looked up the dates ;)

    Hi mz,

    The second link in the post has info on hatches by date and state. You have to scroll down a bit, but there is a nice table. As to the shells, aren’t they scary?

    the Grit

  7. Bill Compton says:

    June 4th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks

  8. Roxxy says:

    March 18th, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I live in NE Arkansas. I have heard of these 17 year cycles all my life but have never truly understood it as they hatch every year here. My friend who lives in England has been here the past 3 summers and is completley infatuated with them! This past summer he got to witness the entire transformation as one crawled up one of the posts of my house. He took time lapse photos to take home to his children. The sound is what struck him most. We are so accustomed that after a couple days, we hear them, but they are soothing almost. The end of summer is coming . But to him ofcourse, they are deafening. We would collect the fragile shells as children and line them up in battles of alien invaders!

    After all that, do you know of anywhere else that gets a hatch every year? Info very much appreciated!

  9. the Grit says:

    March 18th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Roxxy,

    As I understand it, there are several types of cicadas, each of which hatches in different years. You may just be fortunate enough to have a variety of the things so you get some every year.

    the Grit

  10. Brian says:

    May 9th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Oh my there back.. rocksprings ga. and they are back bigtime.

  11. the Grit says:

    May 9th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I don’t think we’re going to get any this year. All the wet weather maybe. And I’m glad ^_^

  12. Xnay says:

    May 11th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    They are in North Alabama as of the 2nd week of May, 2011 and in huge number. I believe these are on a 13 year cycle and called the XIX Brood of Cicada and look like the picture above with orange color around the wings and red eyes. Although we also have Cicada every year, they are a different type and have green color around the wings instead of orange, and dark eyes instead of red.

  13. the Grit says:

    May 11th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    They sure do come in huge numbers. It’s strange to think of all those bugs hiding under your feet.

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