PMPs Report Emergence of Brood X Cicadas

PMPs Report Emergence of Brood X Cicadas

While PMPs are mostly focused on structural pests this summer, another type of insect is capturing the public’s imagination: Brood X of the 17-year periodical cicada.

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May 28, 2021

While PMPs are mostly focused on structural pests this summer, another type of insect is capturing the public’s imagination: Brood X of the 17-year periodical cicada, Magiccicada spp.

Prior to their emergence, Brood X had spent the past 17 years living underground as nymphs, feeding on the sap of plant roots and developing to maturity. They began emerging after the first ground thaw of 64°F. What’s unique about Brood X is that all the cicadas of the brood — up to 1.5 million per acre — emerge from their nymphal homes not over a season or even a couple weeks, but within a few nights of each other.

While there are several periodical cicada broods, Brood X is the one usually in the headlines because it emerges in such large numbers and, in many instances, in densely populated areas in the central and eastern U.S.

“They started really getting crazy (in mid-May),” said Brian Schoonmaker, president of Capitol Pest, Beltsville, Md. “They are everywhere. I have thousands and thousands in my yard. I probably have an entire trash bag full just on my driveway.”

Like Maryland, Indiana is another state where cicadas are emerging. “Mainly in the Indianapolis, Louisville (Ky.), Jasper and Terre Haute markets,” said Scott Robbins, technical services manager, Action Pest Control, Evansville, Ind. “Other than answering occasional customer questions, we aren’t doing anything service-related. Still, it’s an interesting regional event for bug geeks!”

One such bug enthusiast is Kathy Heinsohn, technical & training entomologist, American Pest, Fulton, Md., who sent PCT the following video of cicadas making noise She said, “I love this video [because] of the sound. They are in the tree tops but so loud. And exuviae of nymphs are toward the bottom trunk of the tree.”