What's that sound? Cicadas! | Business
SALISBURY - It's one of the most familiar, and to some, annoying, sounds of spring...the drone of cicadas.
The Scotts Company has provided WBTV with some background information about the cicada, and its recommendations on how to handle the noisy pest:
If you live anywhere in the Eastern United States, you know the loud vibrating noise ebb and flow from Cicadas in the backyard. Every few years, noisy Cicadas not only make your spring months hard on the ears, but also hard on your plants.
The two most common groups of cicadas are the southern race, that has a 13-year life cycle; and the northern race, that lives for 17 years underground. Fortunately, these bothersome pests have an extremely consistent life cycle, making both population size and time of appearance easy to predict. This year, several of the 13-year broods will begin to emerge in areas of the midwestern and southeastern United States. The most sizable of these broods is referred to as, “Brood XIX” and already has emerging cicadas.
What are cicadas?
Cicadas are unique insects with a peculiar lifestyle. After hatching, cicadas will burrow themselves in the soil, living for long periods of time before reappearing above ground.
Young cicadas suck the sap from plant roots, reducing fruit and flowers produced.
How do I identify cicadas?
With dark bodies, covered by transparent wings, cicadas grow to be about 1-1/2 inches long. Only male cicadas make the loud buzzing sounds, which is produced by a special vibratory organ called a "tymbal". While the large broods are above ground, up to 40,000 cicadas can appear under one tree.
How do I prevent cicadas?
Cicadas harm plants in two ways: feeding on the plant roots, however, most of the damage is done when the females lay eggs in trees. Females have a “saw-like” egg laying organ that is used to cut through bark and sapwood of twigs, laying up to twenty rows of eggs with 24 to 48 eggs per row.
Although there is not much you can do to prevent a brood from emerging, you can control how much damage is caused. Once aware of a impending cicada invasion, cover young trees with mosquito netting, remove damaged, brown twigs as soon as noticed, and do not plant new trees in the spring of a year when cicadas are predicted.
What can I expect from an emerging brood?
· Emergence begins late April or early May.
· Widespread emergence by late May. At this time, males begin to call and form groups that chorus as they attract females for mating.
· Egg laying will begin in mid-May.
· Last adults will disappear around mid-June
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