Attack of a billion cicadas

CicadaAfter spending 17 years underground, billions of cicadas are about to emerge across northern Illinois, and in parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

The insects don’t bite or sting and they aren’t dangerous, but they do have a really loud mating call — in fact, an individual cicada can be as loud as a kitchen blender. Imagine how loud it will be in some wooded areas, where there could be 1.5 million cicadas per acre.

Cicadas are an interesting insect. The nymphs live underground for 17 years, sucking sap from tree roots. Almost all members of the group, or brood, burst from the ground within a few days of each other. Adult cicadas live only about 30 days.

Experts expect this cicada emergence to happen anytime between now and June 1.


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