The 17-Year Cicadas will be joining us for part of the spring and summer.
People’s reactions range from fascination to fear.
One cicada researcher says this brood, named Brood V, is going to be big.
In fact, he said they will emerge by the billions.
“The thing is, there are just so many of them,” said Ohio County Extension Agent Karen Cox.
“And there’s that screeching noise, constantly,” said Randy Stobbs of Martins Ferry.
“They are just so large, and they fly and they land on you,” noted Dr. Kenneth Rastall, associate professor of biology at Wheeling Jesuit University.
“And frankly, they’re rather ugly to look at,” said Dr. John McFadden, clinical psychologist.
“You’re going to walk on crunchy sidewalks, and they’ll splat on your windshield,” predicted Cox, extension agent for Ohio County.
“They have little beady eyes,” said Lola Miller, producer at WKKX Radio. “The cats will think they’re toys and bring them in the house. And when you walk down the street, they’ll fly up your pant legs or your skirt.”
We can expect all this from mid-May through late June.
Brood V will be mostly in West Virginia and Ohio.
People are already upset.
“They’re worried that they’re going to get stung or bitten or that their dog’s going to get sick,” said Cox, who said the extension office is already getting calls.
The experts say they don’t sting or bite, and they won’t poison your dog.
You’re safe in your car, but motorcycle riders could have close encounters with them.
“They’re large enough to cause damage to a physical person on a motorcycle because they’re driving at high speeds,” said Dr. Rastall at WJU.
The real threat is to young fruit trees.
Extension Agent Karen Cox suggests covering young trees with a net.
“Put it on as soon as you hear the first male ‘singing’ in May and take it off as soon as you notice silence in June,” she advises.
“I find them fascinating,” Dr. Rastall said. “I don’t find them disgusting. They’re very strange-looking animals.”
The cicada researcher has hosted cicada dinners–an idea that’s fascinating to Vagabond Chef Matt Welsch.
“The best ways I’ve found to prepare them are in the oven–roasted–or deep fried,” said the chef. “Also mixing them with ice cream or using them as a topping. Eating them like cicada popcorn or using them as croutons on your salad.”
But before you try cicadas, make sure you’re not allergic.
“Cicadas are an arthropod,” warned Chef Welsch. “So if you’re allergic to shrimp or shellfish, do not eat cicadas. You’ll have the exact same reaction.”
For cicada haters, it will be a long six weeks.
“What I’ll do is, I won’t wear flip-flops, which is my usual attire in the summer,” noted Lola Miller. “I will wear my tight-fitting skinny jeans, and I will run really fast!”
For those with serious fears, Dr. McFadden suggest repeating “they don’t sting and they don’t bite.”
“They’re time-limited,” he noted. “They’re only going to be here a few weeks. Then they’ll be gone. And they won’t be back for 17 years.
The noise they make is male cicadas calling to females.
They are attracted to lawn mowers and weed trimmers because the noise is similar.
Experts suggest doing your mowing in the early morning or late in the evening, to avoid a swarm.