by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Animals
Tags: .
Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

Remember 1998? The year before we were all going to party like it’s 1999? Well, it was also the last sighting of cicadas before they went underground, which means that their 13-year-itch has come to roost, and the insects are starting to swarm across the southern U.S.

If you live in Tennessee, Alabama, or Georgia, you may already be aware of the fact that it’s cicada time, as the bugs emerge in droves to prepare for their mating season. The insects are harmless, but most people take beef with them because of the loud buzz that fills the air once it comes time for male cicadas to find a mate. Males making a big fuss trying to get the attention of females? Totally uncharacteristic.

While residents may be busting out the earplugs, scientists are scrambling to study the insects, as they won’t have another chance to do so until 2024. And seeing as these cicadas should only be around for another 5-6 weeks before they head underground for the next 13 years, they better hop to it.

Any readers out there seen a cicada yet??

  • Franco

    We have these in San Antonio, Texas as well.

  • faye gothard

    I helped out today with our tornado relief in Ohatchee alabama. When we got out of the car we thought Sirens were going off but it was cicada they are very loud and very annoying. I have heard them as a child but never this loud or this many. They are pretty but loud.

  • Kristina

    Certain types of cicadas only reproduce every 13 years… Its a prime number and a long enough time span that potential predators can’t synchronize their reproduction cycles with them (and thus can’t depend on these cicadas as a food source).

    If you want to see them every summer, just head up north! In western New York, where I grew up, it wasn’t summer until you heard the cicadas buzzing in the heat of the day!

  • Chris

    We have them every year in north Texas; maybe not the 13-year variety but cicadas none the less.

  • Kate O’Neill

    We’ve got them all over our house and yard in Nashville. Yuck.

  • GreenVeggie

    Back in ’98, I was living in Nashville, TN. I remember the noise, but that wasn’t a big problem for most of us. The worst was being swarmed by them. I worked about a mile from downtown and when going to your car in the afternoon, the cicadas would knock into you, fly into your hair, and you couldn’t avoid squashing a bunch while walking–pretty disgusting. Also a problem was the fact that my dog would not stop eating them!