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17-Year Cicadas coming in 2021

2021 is the year for the reemergence of the 17-year cicadas, also known as Brood X or the Great Eastern Brood. The loud buzz of this periodical cicada will be a common sound this coming spring and summer in 15 states, including Ohio. Fun fact - They are not found anywhere outside of the United States!

Differing from annual cicadas that are green in color, periodical cicadas are black with big red eyes and orange wings. Another difference is that annual cicadas are about 1 ½ - 2 ½ inches while their periodical counterpart are smaller at just ¾ - 1 ½ inches in length.

17-Year Cicada

So where have they been for the last 17 years? In a nymph form, 17-year cicadas have been developing very slowly underground. They will start to emerge from the ground in the spring when the soil reaches about 64° and will quickly crawl from the ground to trees & shrubs leaving visible holes in the ground. 

Within a few days, the nymphs mature into adults, leave their shells behind, and begin mating.  Females lay eggs in splits in tree trunks and branches.  During the 3-4-week process, they may lay up to 600 eggs! 6-10 weeks later, the eggs hatch, ant-like juveniles drop to the ground, and burrow beneath the soil.  And the process starts all over again.  With a 17-year life span, Brood X is the longest-lived insect known! Who will be the first in our area to see one?  Let us know if it’s you!