Got earplugs? Billions of cicadas are set to descend upon the Northeast

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 8:21 AM

As described in Exodus 10:5, "And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to look the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field." Flip the aforementioned "they" from locusts to cicadas, and that'south actually a beautiful apartment description of what residents in some parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, VA and WV will experience following mo when the soil warms to sixty-four degrees and billions of cicadas rise from the ground to mate.

Got earplugs? Billions of cicadas are set to descend upon the Northeast

The eighth Biblical plague that tortured Egypt was a plague of locusts.

As described in Exodus 10:5, "And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to look the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field."

Flip the aforementioned "they" from locusts to cicadas, and that'south actually a beautiful apartment description of what residents in some parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, VA and WV will experience following mo when the soil warms to sixty-four degrees and billions of cicadas rise from the ground to mate.

This specific grouping of insects has a seventeen-year-life cycle that begins underground and culminates in the air as they swell and swarm and yell and sing, issuing deafening cries as the males desperately seek mates. This current 17-year-cycle, which began in one thousand nine hundred ninety-ninth, begins to finish following month, reports .

As billions of insects emerge, they can reach a density of 1.5 million cicadas an acre in some areas.

The insects have hard, sleek shells topped with two bulb-like, ruddy eyes. On average, they're a tiny over 1.5 inches in length and, don't worry, they don't bite or sting, according to the United States Dept of Agriculture.

The adults live over ground, and the only thing that interests them is mating and laying eggs (much love salmon during the famed salmon run). They don't even stop to eat.

But there'south the noise.

Oh, the noise.

Anyone who's experienced a swarm likely remembers the noise.

As David Snyder wrote in The Post in two thousand-fourth, "Words seem inadequate to characterize that vaguely menacing hum-whistle that seems to be everywhere but emanates from number single space in particular."

"It feels love an alien spaceship coming in," Arlington, Va., resident Gene Miller told Snyder.

That sound, the melodic, nearly frightening buzzing, wakes with the Sunday in the early morning and continues late into the night. The droning is a mating cry sung by males, as they attempt to discover willing females before their 17-year-old lives conclude.

"After the male and female cicada have mated, the female will lay fertilized eggs in slits slice with her ovipositor on tiny live twigs," entomologist Russ Horton told . "It takes roughly six weeks for the eggs to hatch and the nymphs to emerge."

When they do, according to OH State Univ Prof of entomology David Shetlar, the nymphs then fall from the trees and burrow anywhere from six to eighteen inches in the ground, where they feed on juices from plant roots for thirteen or 17 years, depending on what species they are.

Females can lay up to four hundred eggs each, across forty to fifty sites.

"But wait, I saw cicadas a few years ago!" you might be thinking. "I recollect that noise!"

That'south not incorrect!

There are several "broods" of cicadas, which is based on which cycle they're portion of. Most of these broods are comprised of different species of cicada, and different broods emerge and swarm around different parts of the country (in different years).

These broods have been tracked since the one thousand eight hundred, according to the USDA's one thousand nine hundred seven book "The Periodical Cicada" by C. L. Marlatt.

On top of that, there are several types of cicada life cycles. Some have 13-year life spans, and some are even annual, according to Auburn University'south Dept of Entomology.

In fact, Brood II, which consists of cicadas on a 17-year cycle, overtook Washington, DC, in two thousand-fourteenth, The Post reported.

The one emerging in May is Brood V, which includes Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula, The Star Beacon reported.

According to the USDA, Brood V comprises the largest swarms that are seen in either OH or W Virginia, and some Ohioans are taking advantage of the occasion.

Cleveland Metroparks, in particular, is hosting a plethora of educational events centered around the event.

"It'south going to be a wild ride," said Wendy Weirich, director of Outdoor Experiences for the Cleveland Metroparks, told The Plain Dealer. "It'south love Rip Van Winkle for insects."

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