The Year of the Cicada: facts and information to share with customers.

The Year of the Cicada is upon us. After residing underground for 17 years, a group of periodical cicadas known as Brood II will emerge along the US Eastern Seaboard over the next few weeks. In some areas, these insects will reach densities into the hundreds of thousands per acre (over a million per acre in the heaviest concentrations)! What does this mean for you? Chances are customers may to turn to you for cicada facts, questions and control options. Experts predict the outbreak will start in the Carolinas in late April to early May and will continue to work its way north into Connecticut, Philadelphia and New York by early June. Although these long-lived insects will only be around for a few short weeks this year, they will become a huge annoyance for many people. Outdoor events and activities may be postponed to avoid the high decibel levels that will be emanating from the male cicadas seeking mates. They don’t bite or sting, but cicadas are very oblivious, prone to flying into hair, onto clothes and landing on just about anything they come into contact with. Periodical cicadas are grouped into broods based on the calendar year in which they emerge. Each brood emerges in different areas. There may be different broods in the same area, causing some confusion, as parts of the Northeast experienced Brood X in 2004 and Brood XIV in 2008. So why exactly do periodical cicadas emerge at certain times and in such large numbers? It’s the species’ population survival mechanism known as “predator satiation.” Natural predators, including birds, cats, reptiles and squirrels will...