The Cicadas will be here Soon!

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

After 17 years underground, a massive emergence of Periodical Cicadas will soon be showing up in your yard and our parks!

Here are some highlights about their lives:

  • Part of Brood XIII, these insects are finishing their life cycles by emerging from the ground and transforming into adults.
    • The soil temperature needs to be 64°F for them to start emerging.
    • The nymphs are brown and molt one more time, splitting their exoskeletons on top, with the adult stage of the insect climbing out of the old exoskeleton.
    • The nymphs often climb up trees and other objects to complete this process.
    • Initially the new adults will be pale white or green until their wings expand and their new exoskeleton dries out and hardens. The hardening process takes a few days.
    • Adults have dark bodies, orange wings and red eyes.
    • Males are trying to attract the females by making a loud droning noise.
  • Although they will be very loud, and there will be lots of them, they aren't dangerous to us or our pets!
  • An additional brood of periodical cicadas, that emerge every 13 years (Brood XIX) will overlap with Brood XIII in some areas of central Illinois.
  • We also have annual cicadas in our region that appear every summer, but not in such huge numbers. These annual cicadas usually take about 2-5 years to complete their life cycle, are black and green in color, and do not emerge all at once. The annual cicadas are bigger than the periodical cicadas.

To learn more about cicadas in Illinois visit here.

An adult periodical cicada

A newly emerged adult Periodical cicada and its exoskeleton next to it.

A cicada exoskeleton

An annual cicada, the Dog-Day Cicada (Neotibicen canicularis)