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GUIDE: Everything you need to know about Brood X's 2021 cicada emergence

Cicadas: Why we hate 'em, love 'em, eat 'em
Posted at 12:57 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 16:05:09-04

Areas of the Midwest and Central East Coast are beginning to see cicadas emerging as part of the 2021 Brood X arrival.

Here some frequently asked questions about the oncoming swarm:

1. When will they arrive?

Depending on where you live, they may already be crawling up from the ground.

Parts of Maryland and Ohio are already reporting cicadas emerging and buzzing around their neighborhoods.

Michael George, a senior naturalist with the Cincinnati Parks Board, said Monday's soggy weather in Ohio and parts of the Midwest might be just the push the emerging insects need to crawl their way to the surface.

2. How long will they stick around?

Cicadas will emerge in phases throughout the summer, but, once above ground, they only live for a matter of weeks.

According to the Cincinnati Zoo, all cicadas should have emerged and gone through their full, above-ground lifecycle by Labor Day.

3. Where do cicadas tend emerge?

According to the Washington Post, Brood X may show up in parts of 15 states, ranging from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and as far west as eastern Illinois.

Once above ground, cicadas will seek out trees in order to use their bark and sap to lay eggs.

4. Do cicadas pose any risk?

Despite their volume, generally, cicadas are harmless to animals and humans.

Due to their reproductive process, though, they could pose a risk to some trees in the yard or nearby park or forest.

"In areas of high concentrations of cicadas, they can cause cosmetic damage to trees when they lay their eggs on young tree branches," according to the Cincinnati Zoo's website.

RELATED: Cicadas volume could pose challenges for people with sensory issues

5. How can I protect my yard or trees?

Local nursery owner Mike Benken's first tip is to skip the bug spray: It will harm you -- and potentially your pets, who might be tempted to eat the bugs -- more than the cicadas.

And forget about spreading grub killer, which some homeowners have done in recent weeks.