Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Cicadas on a tree branch. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Year of the Periodical Cicadas

Nifa Authors
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

Depending on where you live, this spring you might hear a constant buzzing chorus from a particular insect—the periodical cicadas are emerging.  

A rare dual brood emergence of cicadas is happening this spring, and it will not happen for another 221 years, according to entomologists. These insects can create sounds that often hit 90-100 decibels, which is louder than a hair dryer.  

This year’s dual event will feature brood XIII, which emerges every 17 years and includes sections of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. They are expected to emerge mid-May through June. 

Brood XIX, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, will emerge late April through the second week of May. 

While cicadas do not pose a threat to humans or pets, newly planted trees or shrubs may experience some impact. Because these insects spend most of their life living underground, they are feeding on tree roots. After mating, the females lay their eggs in the new growth of woody plants and prefer branches the width of a pencil.  

The University of Illinois Extension has a few tips to help protect trees and other landscape from cicada damage.  

Purdue Extension developed a coordinated system to create and share education resources to support existing county and campus-led programs across multiple departments. The “Emergence of the 17-Year Cicada” has had nearly 23,000 unique views, with over 950 downloads of posters and 120 downloads of youth education activities. 

Using drone imagery, the University of West Virginia worked to highlight the importance of combining spectral and 3D information to evaluate forest health features -specifically from cicada impacts to deciduous trees. Read more on the project.  

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products
U.S. States and Territories
West Virginia

Your feedback is important to us.

Take the Website Survey