After 17 Years of Siesta, Millions of Cicadas Are About to Invade Parts of the US


Undeniably, 2020 has had a bit of an “end of the world” kind of vibe about it.

And just to top it off there’ll soon be swarms of insects in their millions in parts of America.

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Millions of cicadas will return to swarm parts of the US this summer. Picture: Getty

First there were extreme weather events, then the health and economic crisis, and just to top it off there’ll soon be swarms of insects in their millions in parts of America.

Instead of locusts however, May will see the return of millions of cicadas of the genus Magicicada that have been biding their time underground for 17 years.

Periodical cicadas are so named owing to their timely appearance above ground.

They are generational events,said entomologist Gene Kritsky. “And many people use the emergence to mark the passage of time, recall key events in their lives and just remember where they were and what they were doing the last time the cicadas came out.

Brood XI

The brood emerging in 2020, called brood XI, hasn’t been seen since 2003.

The length of time needed for cicada larvae to mature into adults underground varies across the genus, with some making an appearance after just one year while for others, like brood XI, it can be as long as 17 years.

The life cycle of periodic cicadas is one of the great mysteries for biological scientists and exactly why they take so long still isn’t fully understood.

Cicadas life cycle mystery

One thing we do know is that when the cicadas, which are buried in the soil during this time of maturation, are ready to emerge, breed, and lay eggs, they come out when the soil warms up, usually during May.

Their numbers continue to increase, with peak emergence usually hitting by June.

Once they reach the surface, the race is on to shed their underground coats and start finding a partner, as they have a brief life expectancy of around 4 to 6 weeks, and in their haste to get going these animals are not shy.

The tsunami of brood XI spells a noisy few weeks for Southwest Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia as the males sing to find themselves a female.

Periodical cicadas are one of the noisiest insects on Earth, creating a vibrating sound using membranes on the side of their body to kick up a racket that can reach over 90 decibels, about the level of a lawnmower.

With as many as 1.5 million cicadas expected per acre in the above-mentioned states, residents should steel themselves for an earful.

Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue,warned entomologist Eric Day at Virginia Tech in a statement. “Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent – and amazing – this event is.

First there were the fires, then the health plague, and just to top it off (we’re not even halfway through the year) there’ll soon be swarms of cicadas in their millions in parts of America.

More insect plagues on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [Register-Herald, VT News, IFL Science]

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  1. Steve, it seems you are either a Dispensational Christian, or in a cult when you write, “I believe we are in the end times, pre-tribulation so far”, because you have no understanding of hermeneutics, or how to properly interpret the Bible because you have taken the terms “end times” or “the last days” out of their historical contexts. I believe the “last days” began in New Testament times with the announcements of the birth of John the Baptist and Messiah Jesus. I used to believe that the “last days” began when Jesus was born, and will end at the Second Coming when He returns in power with great judgment; but not anymore. I now believe that the end of it primarily refers to God’s judgment and end of Israel as a nation that occurred in 70 A.D. I will use the Bible in order to substantiate this position. It is to be distinguished from “the last day” (John 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; 12:48; Matt. 10:15), and “the day of the Lord” which usually speaks of coming judgment (cf. I Thess. 4:13-5:6; II Thess. 1:7-2:10; Matt. 25:31-46; I Cor. 15:23-28,42-54; II Pet. 3:7-13; I John 2:28; Rev. 1:7; 20:11-15). The following passages relate to the biblical expression, “the last days”: Isa. 2:1-5; 40:3; 61:1-2; (Dan. 2:44-45); Joel 2:28-32; Micah 4:1-3; Mal. 3:1-3; 4:5-6; Matt. 3:1-12 (Matt. 11:14; 17:9-13); Luke 4:17-21; Acts 2:1-43; 3:12-4:4; I Cor. 7:29; 10:11; Gal. 4:4-6; I Tim. 4:1-7; II Tim. 3:1-9; Heb. 1:1-3; 9:26; James 5:3, 8; I Pet. 1:18-21; 4:7; II Pet. 2:1; 3:1-4,17; I John 2:18; Jude 17-21. [Compare also with Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:14 and the Bible’s own testimony concerning the influence of the Gospel on the world before 70 A.D.: Acts 17:6 (KJV); Rom. 1:8; 16:19; Col. 1:5-6, 23.]

  2. Dear article author, you got it waaaaay wrong. These neat insects are wonderful, harmless creatures that pose no threat to anyone or anything. There are many overlapping species that grow below ground and wake up at different times, but there are so many that there are active cicadas every year.
    Your article showed up as a link on Steve Quayle’s website as an indicator of biblical judgment and the end times. I believe we are in the end times, pre-tribulation so far, but cicadas should never be discussed as though they represent a locust plague. SMH

  3. I believe they’ve got it wrong. They think of Cicadas as the fly insect, but I believe that a Cicada is actually the larvae and they only gestate into the flying insect to breed.
    Yes, it seems odd to think of Cicadas as worms instead of those buzzing bugs that drive us up the wall with their incessant noise, but after so many years underground they must be considered as larval bugs not Locus, as it were !

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