Billions Of Cicadas Set To Invade Northeastern Part Of United States

Posted: Apr 17 2016, 9:49pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 18 2016, 9:43pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Billions of Cicadas Set to Invade Northeastern Part of United States
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The red-eyed insect emerged from beneath the ground once in 17 years and will make itself heard in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Northeast parts of the United States will soon be buzzing with insects since billions of noisy cicadas are geared up for yet another invasion in the region.

The tiny, red-eyed cicadas emerge from the underground once in 17 years and will swarm Ohio, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia once the soil beneath the ground is nice and warm and reaches up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 17-year life cycle of cicadas will complete in the spring of 2016 and the chirping insect is expected to come to surface anytime in April or May, according to Cacidamania.

The 1.5 inch long insect pops out of soil every 17 years for mating and reproductive purposes. The adult cicadas lay eggs a week or so after surfacing and it takes another six weeks to hatch those eggs, meaning these insects have to spend almost two months on the ground before they die off and their corpses cover the surface like a massive blanket.

The brood which is going to emerge next month or so was born in 1999 and their offspring will see the daylight for the first and only time in 2033.

Though many people will find this invasion unpleasant and annoying but the good thing is the insect is totally focused on its own work and does not harm humans as it is not known for biting humans.

Cicadas spend most of their lives as underground nymphs and feed on the fluids of plants. Their long lifespan has a brief adulthood which just allows them to mate. Cicadas lay their eggs inside slits in the branches of trees. Once cicadas mate and lay billions of eggs, adults die off almost immediately while the younger ones had to undergo the same process which their predecessor had gone through. 

There are at least 1300 cicadas’ species worldwide and majority of them are found in tropical regions. The insect inhabits several parts of the world from Australia to South Africa to Mexico and Southeast Asia.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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